Washington, D.C. Sept. 4, 2019
In Elhady v. Kable (E.D.Va), Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the government has unconstitutionally failed to provide watchlisted persons with notice and an opportunity for individuals to challenge their status. The judge granted CAIR’s motion for summary judgment in the case of 23 American Muslims who were unjustly labeled as suspected terrorists by their government, causing extensive harm to their families, careers, and ability to travel.
SEE: Judge Trenga’s Opinion
“The vagueness of the standard for inclusion in the TSDB, coupled with the lack of any meaningful restraint on what constitutes grounds for placement on the Watchlist, constitutes, in essence, the absence of any ascertainable standard for inclusion and exclusion, which is precisely what offends the Due Process Clause,” wrote Judge Trenga.
“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,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “What a remarkable way to honor CAIR’s 25th Anniversary in 2019.”
“CAIR has a half-dozen other watchlist cases pending in federal courts across the country, and this opinion will pave the wave for our continued victories,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Today’s opinion is a victory for the more than one hundred American Muslims we represent and for the thousands of American Muslims who are currently stigmatized by the watchlist.”
“Every step of this case revealed new layers of government secrets, including that the government shares the watchlist with private companies and more than sixty foreign countries,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “CAIR will continue its fight until the full scope of the government’s shadowy watchlist activities is disclosed to the American public.”
“The fundamental principle of due process is notice and the opportunity to be heard,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Justin Sadowsky. “Today’s opinion provides that due process guarantee to all Americans affected by the watchlist.”
“The watchlist’s arbitrary criteria has long enabled the government to target Muslims based on their faith and then build a secretive network map of their associations,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Carolyn Homer. “Today, the government’s unlawful surveillance of the Muslim community has begun to be curtailed.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. www.cair.com