Adorers of Blood of Christ v. FERC

(United States Third Circuit) – Affirmed the dismissal of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act challenge to the construction of a natural gas pipeline across a religious organization’s land. A Roman Catholic religious order brought suit to prevent the pipeline from being erected across its land, claiming that this would be contrary to its deeply held religious beliefs regarding its obligations in caring for the Earth as God’s creation. However, the Third Circuit held that RFRA cannot be used to circumvent the prescribed review procedure for challenging pipeline projects, under which an objecting party must first seek rehearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which the religious order had not done.