Using the Levers of Government

I have nothing but the highest regard for the Institute for Justice, a law group that fights for the individual against the state when the state becomes overbearing. (A common practice, since governments attract Hall Monitor/HOA Board Member mentalities.)

One of their latest cases involves a group of Monks in Louisiana who make caskets to fund their monastery.. It seems that the Louisiana Funeral Home Association objects to the Monks building and selling caskets in the state.

Now there is no state law in that state requiring that anyone buy a casket, and if someone wants to buy and use a casket built outside the state through Wal-Mart or COSTCO, they may do so under federal law, but if you want to buy a casket from a maker inside the state, everyone must do so from a member of the local Funeral Home.

Pure, restraint of trade by merchants seeking to limit competition using the state as a lever.

That means the hand crafted caskets built by the Monks can’t be sold in the state.

That also means the Institute for Justice has, as the Washington Post quotes a spokesman for the Institute, a perfect case for a challenge: a sympathetic defendant (and who could be more sympathetic than a Monk,); “evil villains” (and funeral directors trying to limit competition certainly fit that bill); and “outrageous facts” (no debate there!.

The Institute for Justice deserves our support. I cannot think of a cause they support that I do not.


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