Economic Liberty
Occupational Licensing

Louisiana Caskets Oral Argument

  • 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.
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