Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Cert. Filed In Seventh Day Adventist Case: Does RFRA Apply To Suits Between Private Parties?
A petition for certiorari (full text) was filed yesterday with the U.S. Supreme Court in McGill v. General Conference Corporation of Seventh Day Adventists. In the case, the court refused to dismiss trademark infringement and related claims brought by two Seventh Day Adventist religious organizations against a break-away church that used a similar name. The court refused to carve out a special exception for religious intellectual property. The petition for review filed with the Supreme Court focuses on a second part of the 6th Circuit's decision that rejected a claim that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to the case. The 6th Circuit held that RFRA applies only suits in which the government is a party. (See prior posting.) The cert. petition points out that the 5th and 7th Circuits agree with the 6th Circuit in this regard, while the 7th, 8th and D.C. Circuits have applied RFRA to suits brought under federal law involving only private parties. [Thanks to Seth Galanter for the lead.]