Update — Let the monks sell caskets

The Washington Post has an article that begins,

 Not very long after God told some at St. Joseph Abbey that the way out of financial hardship might be selling the monks’ handcrafted caskets, the state of Louisiana arrived with a different message.

It was a cease-and-desist order and came with threats of thousands of dollars in fines and possible criminal prosecution.

The monks filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana challenging the law and asking that it be held unconstitutional.  They won their case in July.

The Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors appealed.

WaPo reports that according to court pleadings,

the board said the legislature had good reason for limiting in-state sales of caskets. The act protects Louisianans from “improper and overreaching sales tactics in the area of ‘at need’ casket sales,” the brief says. In some parts of the state, many burials are above­ground, and that requires “knowledgable decisions” in casket sales “mindful of Louisiana’s unique situation.”

The monks argue that the reasoning makes no sense.

I have to agree.  This is a stupid law.  There are no health or safety concerns to justify restricting casket sales to licensed morticians or funeral directors and it contradicts the FTC’s Funeral Rule allowing consumers to use any casket of their choosing.

Argument is scheduled for early June.

I previously blogged about this lawsuit here and here.

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~ by siouxsielaw on June 1, 2012.

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