A civil liberties organization wants the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a case involving nuns who are fighting a buried pipeline on their property.
The Rutherford Institute has filed an amicus brief to restore a lawsuit brought by Adorers of the Blood of Christ that seeks to stop Transco's Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project on the nuns' property in Pennsylvania.
Last July, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the Adorers case, agreeing with an earlier ruling that the Adorers failed to establish how Transco's right-of-way on their land will in any way affect their ability to practice their faith.
John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute tells OneNewsNow that the nuns have "taken a stand" on the premise of protecting God's creation, and they are fighting the pipeline under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"In various parts of the country," says Whitehead, "these pipelines have been polluting water. They've been tearing up property. They've been destroying down trees. And so these nuns have taken a stand against this."
Williams, the company behind the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, issued a statement to OneNewsNow saying the pipeline has already been successfully placed into service and is currently providing consumers with natural gas.
"While we respect the Adorer's right to express their convictions, " the statement said in part, "we disagree with their position with regard to the importance of natural gas and its associated infrastructure. Access to inexpensive, domestic natural gas is a huge benefit to all people, especially the economically disadvantaged."
Adorers still retains ownership of the property, which remains a cornfield tended by a tenant farmer.