There has been quite a bit of discussion, some here and some on the LDS-law list, about street preachers and garment desecration. But it seems like everyone is missing the obvious question: What would Coase do?
A quick description for readers unfamiliar with economics: Ronald Coase famously suggested that apportionment of liability did not matter where parties could bargain (and where transaction costs were zero) because parties would arrive at the most efficient solution anyway through bargaining.
In the street preacher context, it doesn’t matter if preachers are allowed to use garments or not. If waving around a sacred garment is worth $1000 to a street preacher, and the knowledge that a preacher is not using garments is worth more than $100 to ten church members, then they can collect $1000 and bribe the preacher not to engage in defiling garments.
Of course, over the long run, that solution might not be a real equilibrium. For example, other street preachers might desire to enter the market. In fact, people could pose to be street preachers, and threaten to enter the market, solely to collect their $1000 payoff. Eventually the members would run out of money (or of willingness to spend it). If that is the end result, then perhaps the Coasian solution is not truly feasible. However, many street preachers may be financed by organizations. If those organizations exert some control over their preachers, then a Coasian solution might still be possible. (Overall, the problem is keeping new entrants out of the street preacher market).