Funeral directors appeal casket ruling for monks

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Associated Press

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's board of funeral directors has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings that permit Benedictine monks 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.

Attorneys for St. Joseph Abbey say the monks are ready to go to the nation's highest court. Attorney Scott Bullock says they want, in his words, "to protect their rights and the rights of all entrepreneurs."

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