Update — Let the monks sell caskets

Foreground: attorneys. Background left: monk.

Louisiana regulators wanted to stop Benedictine monks from selling handmade wooden caskets.  So, the state funeral regulatory board, which is dominated by industry members, started enforcing a Louisiana law that made it a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral home to sell caskets.  This meant that monks could face jail time of up to 180 days and/or a $500 to $2,500 fine per violation.

In August, the the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey  filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana challenging the law.  The monks are asking that the law be held unconstitutional.

Siouxsie blogged about this case back in August and sided with the monks.  Why?  Not just because the monks have a great sense of style (they wear only black).  Because the law is stupid —

 There are no health or safety concerns to justify restricting casket sales to licensed morticians or funeral directors.  It contradicts the FTC’s Funeral Rule allowing consumers to use any casket of their choosing.  Plus, this is the kind of wood we should encourage monks to work with

Just last week, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval denied Louisiana’s motion to dismiss the monk’s case.  Siouxise will say it — the monks have won their case.   Sure, there still needs to be a trial.  But if the court was unwilling to defer to the state’s proffered rational for the regulation in the motion to dismiss, it seems unlikely that a trial will change the court’s mind.   Don’t take Siouxsie’s word for it, just read the court’s opinion.

This is what the caskets made by the monks at issue look like. Great craftmanship, but the finish leaves something to be desired (too light).

If you want to beat the post verdict rush, place your casket order with the monks now.


Link to a coffin “terrormisu” cake made by Siouxsie Law.

Link to coffin cabinets.


~ by siouxsielaw on April 16, 2011.

3 Responses to “Update — Let the monks sell caskets”

  1. oh, louisiana. as i learned in my three years in law school in baton rouge, the best thing the state government can do is run a protection racket for itself. it’s sad, really; the corrupt swamp reputation louisiana has is not at all undeserved…

  2. Wow – I love it when ridiculous, capitalistic laws are overturned! How do laws like that get passed to begin with??? I am hoping for the best for the monks.

    Sophistique Noir – Dark, Elegant Fashion

  3. […] previously blogged about this lawsuit here and here. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: