Daily Caller

Judge Rules In Favor Of CAIR, Says Terrorism Watchlist Violates Constitutional Rights

Jason Hopkins on September 5, 2019

The Council on American-Islamic Relations scored a big court victory on Thursday, with a federal judge ruling that the FBI’s terror watchlist violates the Constitution.

Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favor of 23 Muslim Americans who filed a lawsuit alleging that their inclusion on the Terrorist Screening Database violated their due process rights. Trenga, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008, wrote in his 32-page opinion that the watchlist was too vague and infringed on the plaintiffs’ ability to fly and participate in other activities.

The federal judge also agreed with the plaintiffs that the process for putting individuals on the watchlist is done without proper methodology.

“An individual’s placement into the [watchlist] does not require any evidence that the person engaged in criminal activity, committed a crime, or will commit a crime in the future,” Trenga wrote. “The court concludes that the risk of erroneous deprivation of plaintiffs’ travel-related and reputational liberty interests is high, and the currently existing procedural safeguards are not sufficient to address that risk.”

The Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) is not to be confused with the No Fly List, a different, more restrictive list that bars individuals from boarding airplanes. Nevertheless, people on the TSDB can be restricted from entering or leaving the U.S., result in tighter security screenings at airports, and could even get them denied benefits from the government.

Around 1.2 million people were included on the watchlist in 2017, according to the New York Times. However, most of the people on the list are foreign nationals who live outside the U.S., with only around 4,600 American citizens who are protected under the Constitution.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has referred to the watchlist as a “Muslim registry,” filed a lawsuit in 2016. The organization hailed the court decision as a “complete victory.”

“CAIR’s legal team has finally brought an end to the secretive watchlist, which is effectively a Muslim registry created in the wake of the widespread Islamophobia of the early 2000s,” CAIR’s executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement released Thursday.

While Trenga concluded at the current procedures in TSDB are insufficient to protect the rights of American citizens, changes to the watchlist’s mythology is yet to be determined.

The judge ordered the Justice Department — which served as the defendant in this case — and the plaintiffs to submit arguments on how to properly implement the watchlist while still protecting peoples’ constitutional rights.

Daily Caller

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

View Comments

  • Supposedly, Muhammed CREATED Islam. This is patently false because the words 'Muslim' and 'Islam' did not exist, even in Arabic, until WELL after Muhammed died in 632.

    Islam is built upon lie after lie, especially espousing lies told to "unbelievers" as a POLICY called "Taqiyya". It is NOT a religion of peace as most people understand the word.

    The words 'salaam' (peace) and 'Islam' (submission) come from the same root word. Why is this important? because to a true believing Muslim, "Peace" can ONLY occur when ALL of the world is under "Islam".

    Many Muslims HATE when this FACT is published, so I will probably get banned for saying this. I do not hate Muslims, I have friends who are Muslim. Many are fine people. But in my observations, a "good" Muslim (one who follows the Qur'an to the letter) and a good human being cannot co-exist in the same body. I have read the Qur'an many times. It is clear about its intent - and it is not about religion - the intent is PURE conquest.

    Islam is not the religion of God, but of Lucifer.

  • Judge Trenga is piss-ant liberal lunatic judge who needs to be kicked off the bench! How is that for you lefty censor policy?

  • when their first terrorist action occurs, you go directly to judge Trenga and remove him by the same means the terrorists use on the people... because the judge did not protect us from these animals

  • Actually, no they don't. Only those that follow Islam, follow Sharia. It is also unconstitutional to follow it in this country!!

  • Screw this judge before he screws the US any more than he has. Was not CAIR found to be an unindicted co-conspirator for the 9-11 terrorist attacks? Well, why don't we just change that status and indict? Murder has no statutory limit.

  • Being a member of CAIR is sufficient enough to put them on the list. This organization of conspirators are hard at work trying to bring Shari Law to this country. This judge is totally full of sheet!

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