Jump directly to the content

Monks Allowed To Undercut Undertakers on Caskets Post-Hurricane Katrina

Fifth Circuit strikes down 'irrational' Louisiana sales ban.

Benedictine monks seeking to support themselves post-Hurricane Katrina have won a second legal victory as they fight Louisiana funeral homes for the right to make and sell handmade caskets at prices that undercut the undertakers.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week in St. Joseph Abbey v. Castille that the Louisiana Board of Funeral Directors's ban on unlicensed casket sales is unconstitutional because it has "no rational basis." The court concluded "the great deference due state economic regulation ... does [not] require courts to accept nonsensical explanations for regulation," noted Religion Clause.

The Fifth Circuit had previously ordered the case be sent to the state's Supreme Court.

The decision upholds a previous federal district court ruling, which concluded "the provisions simply protect a well-organized industry that seeks to maintain a strict hold on this business."

However, the Times-Picayunenoted that "the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a similar law limiting casket sales in Oklahoma in 2004. The divided opinion now leaves an opening for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh-in, if the Louisiana board decides to appeal, lawyers said."

CT has regularly reported on death and dying, including what the funeral industry doesn't want you to know, whether it is biblical for Christians to be cremated, and how the church can help people die well.

Related Topics:Church and State
Posted:March 21, 2013 at 10:55AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Login
or
Subscribe
or
Register
Recent Posts
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
New Poverty-Fighting Alliance Launches
World Relief, Germany-based PartnerAid combine to grow programs, donor base.
Bible Society Takes 'More Accurate and Hopeful' Stance on Scripture Skeptics
(UPDATED) No more 'Bible antagonists,' among many findings in this year's ABS/Barna 'State of the Bible' report.