Can governments rely on outdated rationales to justify onerous regulation?

September 23, 2014
1 Comments
Advertisement

In 1952, Emmett Ashford became the first African American umpire in organized baseball and Dwight Eisenhower was elected President of the United States. That same year, the Pennsylvania legislature decided that funeral homes needed to be heavily regulated. Under a 1952 regulation, funeral directors must obtain a license and build expensive “preparation rooms.” Further, they cannot have more than two locations, and they cannot serve food to funeral attendees. While the regulation may have made sense in 1952 America, technology and funeral practices have changed in the past 62 years. For example, advances in embalming have scrapped the need for preparation rooms in every facility. Despite changed circumstances, the legislature of 1952 still fusses with funeral homes across Pennsylvania.

In Heffner v. Murphy, funeral directors of the twenty-first century are asking the Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the Pennsylvania licensing scheme.  The plaintiffs argue that the regulations violate their constitutional right to due process under the 14th Amendment. A law hampering economic liberty is only constitutional if it has a rational relationship to a legitimate government purpose. The funeral directors argue that when the circumstances justifying a law no longer exist, the law no longer has a rational basis. Nevertheless, the Third Circuit upheld the law. According to the Court, “there is a fundamental difference between [laws] that may be archaic and those that are irrational for the purposes of our substantive due process inquiry.” Courts are split as to whether rational basis review only looks to the time of enactment or also includes the continuing rationality of the law’s enforcement.

Antiquated laws shouldn’t continue to badger small businesses. The Supreme Court should grant the petition and hold a proper funeral for regulations that no longer make sense.

Advertisement

You can learn about Pacific Legal Foundation’s work on rational basis review here, here, and here.

[H/T: Pacific Legal]

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

FBI Investigates Funeral Home Running “Remains Dealing” Side-Business
News
28 views
News
28 views

FBI Investigates Funeral Home Running “Remains Dealing” Side-Business

Justin Crowe - January 15, 2018

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is checking into Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose, CO, where owner Megan Hess is…

MAJOR Facebook News Feed Changes and What They Mean For Your Deathcare Business
Marketing
30 views
Marketing
30 views

MAJOR Facebook News Feed Changes and What They Mean For Your Deathcare Business

Ryan Thogmartin - January 15, 2018

Last week, Facebook made an announcement about MAJOR changes coming to the news feed algorithm. Watch this Facebook Live to learn how…

Five EASY Tips For Your 2018 Marketing and a FREE ___!!! | DISRUPTu! 035
Marketing
38 views
Marketing
38 views

Five EASY Tips For Your 2018 Marketing and a FREE ___!!! | DISRUPTu! 035

CDFuneralNews - January 15, 2018

It’s good to be back! A new year, new goals and new goals to CRUSH! Ryan answers how you use…

Comments