Pennsylvania Ban on Corporate Names Containing "Blasphemy, Profane Cursing or Swearing or [Words] That Profane the Lord's Name":

That's in 15 Penn. Stats. § 1303. In October 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of State in October 2007 told George Kalman that he can't get a corporate Certificate of Organization for a company called "I Choose Hell Productions, LLC." Kalman is now suing to invalidate that restrictions on Establishment Clause and Free Speech Clause grounds. Some quick thoughts:

Free Speech Clause: The restriction doesn't generally bar Kalman from saying what he wants, or even using "I Choose Hell" to describe his business in advertising — it affects only the formal corporate name of the business. On the other hand, it would affect Kalman's ability to express himself the way he wants in some business transactions (those that require the use of the official name). Plus, even though the grant of corporate charters is a government-provided benefit, it may be unconstitutional for the government to restrict this benefit in a viewpoint-based way; and the restrictions seems viewpoint-based, because what constitutes blasphemy or profaning the Lord's name likely turns on the viewpoint: "Save Your Souls From Hell Ministries" would presumably not be blasphemous, while "I Choose Hell" might be.

Establishment Clause: The restriction probably violates the Establishment Clause, on the grounds that banning blasphemy (1) requires entanglement of government and religion (in figuring out what constitutes blasphemy), (2) has the primary purpose or effect of advancing religion by restricting expression that is in some measure hostile or insulting to religion, and (3) in any event involves a denominational preference in favor of religions that recognize "the Lord."

By the way, "[i]n his complaint, Kalman claims that he chose the name 'I Choose Hell Productions, LLC' for philosophical reasons central to the expression of his films, namely his belief that suicide is a lesser alternative to struggling through difficult times: 'even if life is 'hell,' it is better to choose hell than suicide.'"

I learned of the case through the unpublished opinion in Kalman v. Cortes, 2009 WL 2256477 (E.D. Pa. July 28), but that opinion itself deals only with a venue question, not the substantive constitutional issue.