Shortly after profiling IJ’s battle to ease the licensing burden for entrepreneurs across the country, The New York Times published another piece on licensing. This time, it put together a quiz for readers to guess which details of particularly nonsensical licensing laws were true.
One of the quiz’s five questions concerns the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Louisiana, whom the Institute for Justice successfully defended from state regulations that prohibited them from selling their products to without a license. Here is a free answer on the quiz: the monks wanted to sell wooden coffins, but were prohibited. As the Times describes:
“Louisiana’s State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors ordered St. Joseph Abbey to stop selling its handmade wooden coffins in 2008, contending that only licensed members of the funeral industry could do so. After the Fifth United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Benedictine abbey, the Supreme Court declined the hear the case, allowing the ruling to stand. The monks are still selling the coffins, online. Prices start at $1,700.”
The quiz ran in the June 18 print edition of the Times.