Monks Take on Funeral Directors and Win
The ruling came in a case brought by the monks at St. Joseph Abbey in Covington alleging the law amounted to unconstitutional economic protectionism.
In his ruling, Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. found that the law violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Duval wrote “there is no rational basis for the State of Louisiana to require persons who seek to enter into the retailing of caskets to undergo the training and expense necessary to comply with these rules.”
Lawyer Scott Bullock, who formed part of the Benedictine monks’ legal team, called the statute in question “irrational.”
“Economic protectionism for the funeral industry … is not a legitimate government interest,” said Bullock, who works for the Virginia-based Institute for Justice. “The Abbey will be able to lawfully sell their caskets to willing consumers. That is a great victory for the monks, for the U.S. constitution, and for Louisiana consumers.”
St. Joseph Abbey’s leader, Abbot Justin Brown, sounded relieved about Duval’s decision. The funeral board at one point threatened to jail him or fine him heavily if the abbey’s wood shop sold funeral boxes without a proper license.
“We did not go into this trial because we wanted to make a statement or to in any way be in opposition to anyone,” Brown said. “We went in simply because we felt that this was an unfair law.”
State funeral board attorney Preston Lee Hayes said he expects his clients to appeal the ruling with the federal 5th Circuit Court. If the ruling is still upheld there, the defendants can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reviews only a very small minority of cases.
“We disagree with Judge Duval’s decision,” Hayes added. “We feel that the evidence introduced at trial showed there is a rational basis for the law.”
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- UPDATE ON HUGE FUNERAL INDUSTRY CIVIL LAWSUIT | FUNERAL nation 101 – CHANGE MAKERS - January 21, 2018
- OGR Annual Conference Offers Solutions to Business Problems in Savannah, GA April 4-6, 2018 - January 21, 2018
- Funeral Cribs Episode 5 – Sunset Memorial Park, Alabama - January 18, 2018
You may be interested
UPDATE ON HUGE FUNERAL INDUSTRY CIVIL LAWSUIT | FUNERAL nation 101 – CHANGE MAKERSCDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018
On this episode, we talk with a death care attorney who is handling a high profile civil lawsuit affecting thousands…
OGR Annual Conference Offers Solutions to Business Problems in Savannah, GA April 4-6, 2018CDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018
AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 2018 - The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), the world’s leading professional association dedicated…
Funeral Cribs Episode 5 – Sunset Memorial Park, AlabamaCDFuneralNews - January 18, 2018
The Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home has had one major goal in mind from the time it started until now,…