National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Newark, N.J.

Archdiocese of Newark sues New Jersey over headstone law

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A public interest law firm has filed a federal case on behalf of the archdiocese of Newark challenging a New Jersey law that bars church-run cemeteries from selling headstones.

"This case addresses one of the most important unanswered questions in constitutional law: how far government power can act for primarily private gain," said Jeff Rowe, senior attorney for the Institute of Justice.

New Jersey to Newark archdiocese: Get out of the headstone business

The Newark archdiocese, the largest single provider of in-ground burials in New Jersey, must give up a lucrative companion business -- the marketing of headstones and private crypts -- under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Christie.

The measure, which passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, goes into effect in one year, allowing the archdiocese time to wind down without imperiling sales in progress at its Catholic cemeteries.

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August 28-September 10, 2015

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