When the Louisiana funeral board went after the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey for the “crime” of selling handmade wooden caskets without a funeral director license, IJ stepped in to champion the monks and their humble enterprise.
The state has no legitimate interest in restricting who can sell coffins. A casket is just a box. It serves no sanitary purpose, and Louisiana doesn’t even require one for burial. This arbitrary restriction served only to funnel money to licensed funeral directors.
In March 2013, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held for IJ and the monks. The court’s landmark decision is one of only a handful of federal appellate decisions since the New Deal to protect economic liberty.