For generations, St. Joseph Abbey (Abbey) has constructed wooden caskets to bury its monks, but more recently, the Abbey assembled a lawsuit to bury an unconstitutional law. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed its timber and rendered its source of income lifeless, the Abbey began to sell caskets to the general public. While the monks of the Abbey offer no funeral services, they earn their living selling caskets at lower prices than those offered by funeral homes. Under the Louisiana Embalming and Funeral Directors Act (Act), intrastate sales of caskets to the public may only be made by a state-licensed funeral director and at a state-licensed funeral home. In 2007, the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors (Board) ordered the Abbey not to sell caskets to the public, and Boyd Mothe Sr., a state-licensed funeral director, initiated a complaint against the Abbey. The Abbey retaliated, filing suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
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- J.D./M.B.A. candidate 2016, Tulane University; B.A. 2012, Louisiana State University.
- 88 Tul. L. Rev. 993 (2014)