Judge rules terror watchlist violates rights
by Harvest Prude
Posted 9/06/19, 12:05 pm
A federal judge declared the FBI’s list of more than 1 million “known or suspected terrorists” unconstitutional on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga granted summary judgment to 23 Muslim U.S. citizens who said the government wrongly placed them on the list in violation of their constitutional rights. The FBI’s lawyers argued the plaintiffs’ complaints paled in comparison to the government’s interest in preventing terrorism.
How does the list violate the Constitution? Trenga said the watchlist imposed significant travel difficulties on its subjects without adequate due process. Lawyers said authorities handcuffed their clients at border crossings or subjected them to invasive searches at airports. Trenga noted plaintiffs had no opportunity to refute “any derogatory information” used to flag them. A variety of domestic and foreign agencies and even some private entities use the watchlist for security screenings. The judge wants more information before deciding what should be done about the list.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read how one of the brothers accused in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings evaded security checks using the terrorist watchlist due to a misspelled name.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.