Challenging Louisiana's Casket Cartel (Source: Institute for Justice)
Can the government restrict economic liberty just to enrich a group of politically favored insiders?
That’s the question the Institute for Justice and its client, Saint Joseph Abbey of St. Benedict, La., have taken to federal court in challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana’s outrageous requirement that the monks of the Abbey must be licensed as funeral directors and convert their monastery into a licensed funeral home in order to sell their handmade wooden casket.
Under Louisiana law, it is a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral director to sell “funeral merchandise,” which includes caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test. They would also have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains.
|Abbot Brown (Photo Credit: Institute for Justice)|
One of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans is the right to earn an honest living in the occupation of our choice without arbitrary government interference. Louisiana’s casket licensing law violates that right.