The monks of Saint Joseph Abbey have won again. On October 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision stating that restricting the monks’ right to sell their handmade caskets was either unconstitutional or an abuse of power unauthorized by Louisiana law. The federal court asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to answer the question of whether the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors actually has the power to stop retail casket sales. If the Louisiana Supreme Court says yes, then the law is unconstitutional. If the Louisiana Supreme Court says no, then the State Board has illegally spent the past five years wasting taxpayer dollars trying to stop the monks and other entrepreneurs from selling caskets. Either way, it’s win-win for the Abbey and lose-lose for the State Board.
Score one for the good guys.