Mar-a-Lago special master case goes before appeals court
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A federal appeals court will consider whether the case of Marjorie Scardino-Mack, the president’s daughter’s late mother, should get a private burial in a cemetery, according to court documents.
A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 28. Mrs. Scardino-Mack died in a nursing home in March at the age of 85, and the hospital refused to accept her body out of respect for her wishes. She said she wanted to be buried at her New York home, and the hospital, in compliance with law, turned away her body without a funeral service. Mrs. Scardino-Mack’s late friend, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, objected to the treatment. After Mrs. Scardino-Mack’s death, the hospital returned her body.
Mrs. Scardino-Mack’s late husband, Joseph Scardino, the attorney general of the state of New York, appealed to the Second Circuit, and the case is now before the appeals court.
The hospital said the state, Mr. Scardino’s widow and her family agreed to pay for a private funeral in a cemetery in the nearby hamlet of Port Jefferson.
The Second Circuit’s filing says that the hospital’s refusal to bury Mrs. Scardino-Mack at home was “based on the hospital’s religious beliefs.” The hospital says a private funeral was not acceptable because the family would not be able to afford it. Mrs. Scardino-Mack’s family argues funeral coverage is included under the law.
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The district court in New York rejected the hospital’s claim that it took Mrs. Scardino-Mack out of state for burial, but that ruling was overturned on appeal. The appeals court panel is considering a request by the state for a