A federal age discrimination law cannot be used by a pastor fighting mandatory retirement by the United Methodist Church, a federal judge has ruled.

Allowing retired Reverend John Paul Hankins to sue the church under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act would violate another federal law — the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, Eastern District of New York Judge Denis R. Hurley concluded in Hankins v. The New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, 03-CV-3275.

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