Monks win another court ruling in casket fight


A federal appeals court says Benedictine monks may keep selling caskets from their monastery near Covington.

The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s ruling in favor of St. Joseph Abbey and against the state board of funeral directors’ rule that only state-licensed funeral directors can legally sell caskets in Louisiana.

Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote, “The funeral directors have offered no rational basis for their challenged rule and, try as we are required to do, we can suppose none.”

Judges Catharina Haynes and Stephen Higginson joined in the opinion.

The court had asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to decide whether the board’s regulatory power extends beyond funeral homes. It said Louisiana’s highest court declined to hear the case and did not say why.

The funeral directors remind me of the old quote from Adam Smith. Clearly they were trying to restrict competition.

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”


Good for the monks. The title here made me think of two cartoonish caskets with arms and legs “rumbling” at the cemetery!

Great victory for the Monks.

We must keep a watchful eye on those capitalist monks, Jason. :slight_smile:

You aren’t kidding. What, with them making their own soap, honey, caskets, jelly, etc. they are sure to get rich at any moment. :wink:

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