Monday, April 11, 2016

CAIR Sues Challenging Procedures For Terrorist Watch List

Last week, CAIR-Michigan filed two federal lawsuits challenging the federal government's operation of the Terrorist Screening Database.  Inclusion on the list leads to placement on the no-fly list and on lists restricting access to licenses and firearms.  The suits allege that almost all Americans known to be on the watch list are Muslims or persons who could be mistaken for Muslims.  One of the suits, Baby Doe v. Piehota, (ED VA, filed 4/5/2016) (full text of complaint) is a class action seeking damages. The other, Elhady v. Piehota, (ED VA, filed 4/5/2016) (full text of complaint) seeks injunctive and declaratory relief. The suits contend that selection of individuals for the watch list is illegally motivated by religious status and denies those on the list substantive and procedural due process rights by stigmatizing them and burdening their right of movement. Among other things, the suits seek a change in the watch list so that individuals placed on the list are furnished notice of the reasons for their inclusion and an opportunity to contest their listing.  CAIR issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuits.