Judge Rules in Favor of Monks

An update on a story we highlighted in "In All Things" last year:

Monks at St. Joseph Abbey near Covington can sue for the right to sell handcrafted caskets to the public without a license from the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, a federal judge in New Orleans has decided.

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U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval's ruling, filed Friday, set the stage for a June 6 trial, during which lawyers representing the Abbey will attempt to prove that restricting casket sales to state-licensed funeral directors amounts to unconstitutional economic protectionism.

"This ruling is a vindication of what we have been saying all along: Economic liberty is for everyone, including the monks of the Abbey," Abbot Justin Brown said in a statement issued by the Virginia-based Institute of Justice, who is arguing on behalf of the Abbey.

H/t to reader Jeff Landry for the link.

Tim Reidy

 

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Jim McCrea
7 years 8 months ago
I'll bet that the Trappists of New Mellary Abbey in Iowa were secretly funding the La Bd of Embalmenrs etc.  Can't have competition when it comes to hand-made caskets!

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Adam Rasmussen
7 years 8 months ago
I wonder why the monks don't just get a license.
7 years 8 months ago
"I wonder why the monks don't just get a license."

If I recall the article correctly, the license required is a fudneral director's license, which involves classes and an apprenticeship that the abbey cannot afford.

I wonder whether the law would prohibit the abbey from selling to funeral directors as a wholesaler.  What they would lose at retail they could probably make up in volume, especially if they went national with it.  I can't believe that all casket manufacturers are all licensed funeral directors; that would be like requiring all carpenters to be real estate agents.

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