Judge Says Monks Can Fight for Right to Sell Caskets
NEW ORLEANS – Monks at St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, La., can sue for the right to sell handcrafted caskets without a license from the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, a federal judge has decided.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval’s April 8 ruling sets the stage for a June 6 trial, during which the monks’ lawyers will argue 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, which is arguing on behalf of the abbey.
St. Joseph Abbey opened a woodshop in 2007 to sell handcrafted cypress caskets to the public; proceeds were intended to help pay the medical and educational needs of 36 Benedictine monks.
The board regulating state embalmers and funeral directors issued a cease-and-desist letter before a single casket was sold, citing a state statute that restricts casket sales to licensed dealers.
Last August, the 122-year-old abbey filed suit to strike down the law. Duval rejected a motion from the state funeral industry to dismiss the monks’ suit.
Michael Rasch, an attorney for the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, could not be reached for comment, though he has said the board is only enforcing a state law.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- Preneed Funeral Sales Advisor - August 11, 2017
- Physicians Mutual Celebrates Preneed Anniversary with NFDA Sponsorship - August 9, 2017
- The Only Good Aftercare Program Is A Consistent One - August 7, 2017
You may be interested
Preneed Funeral Sales AdvisorCDFuneralNews - August 11, 2017
Premier Funeral Solutions is currently seeking a Preneed Funeral Sales Advisor . Premier Funeral Solutions offers tools and methodologies developed to help…
12 Benefits of Social Media Every Funeral Home Needs to KnowRyan Thogmartin - August 10, 2017
Social media is 'marketing.' It's not the new marketing, it's the current state of marketing, and funeral homes and death care companies can no longer afford to ignore it. There are so many reasons why death care companies need to get their heads out of the sand and start engaging on the platforms used by over 68% of all Americans.
Six Times Twitter Reminded Us Funerals Don’t Have to be BoringMadison Ashby - August 9, 2017
These six people had funerals on their mind for one reason or another and decided to share with the Twitter world what they were thinking, and I’m pretty glad they did. People can come up with some pretty crazy things if you let them ramble.