Lower court rulings permit the Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey to sell caskets from their northshore monastery
Louisiana's board of funeral directors has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings that permit the Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey to sell caskets from their monastery outside New Orleans.
Federal district and appeals courts found no reasonable grounds for a regulation that only state-licensed funeral directors may sell coffins in Louisiana.
The request for a Supreme Court hearing argues that such "economic protectionism" is legitimate and so pervasive "that it may be practically impossible to avoid it."
It says the high court should step in because federal appeals courts differ sharply.
The 37-page request and nearly 100 pages of supplemental material were filed late Wednesday on behalf of Paul "Wes" Castille and other members of the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
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