The United States Supreme Court has ruled that three Muslim men who were placed on the no-fly list by FBI agents for allegedly refusing to spy on other Muslims have won the right to sue the FBI agents responsible for it.
The men can seek compensation for the damages under Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said the Supreme Court.
The Trump administration requested for a dismissal of the case saying that it’s a sensitive matter concerning national security. But the Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled in favor of the complainants.
The three men, who are US citizens lost their jobs after being blacklisted by the FBI. It was also difficult for them to visit their family members.
The lead plaintiff, Muhammad Tanvir worked as a long distance lorry driver. He is a permanent resident of New York and was denied entry into a flight back home from Atlanta in 2010 and was dropped off at a bus station by FBI agents.
Naveed Shinwari, one of the three men hoped that this could be a warning to FBI and other agencies that they too could be held responsible for traumatizing people.
Although the agents could settle out of court, they are most likely to invoke ‘qualified immunity’. It is a legal amendment that protects officers from facing consequences if they violate the constitutional rights of the people they arrest.
There have been several debates with respect to this amendment with Democrats proposing a legislation to get rid of it. Republicans however have managed to block any such efforts.