The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 against the FBI in favor of religious freedom for Muslims

Because 2020 is full of surprises, the conservative-majority Supreme Court just voted unanimously to protect Muslims from the FBI. From NPR:

The case – Tanzin v. Tanvir — involved three Muslim men who said their religious freedom rights were violated when FBI agents tried to use the no-fly list to force them into becoming informants.

Ramzi Kassen, the lawyer representing the three men, explained that the no-fly list is problematic because it combines "tremendous power with a near total lack of transparency," empowering the FBI to use it as coercive force.

None of the men was suspected of illegal activity, and indeed the Obama administration tried to head off the suit by removing their names from the no-fly list just days before the case first went to court. It didn't work. The men refused to drop their case, and on Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor.

The three men involved in the suit had all been placed on the no-fly list as punishment for refusing to cooperate with the FBI as undercover informants. So again, they didn't do anything — the FBI just thought they could leverage these men to help them, and essentially used the no-fly list as a coercive blackmail device to hold over the heads (just one of the many unconstitutional reasons why no-fly lists are utterly ridiculous). Now, the entire Supreme Court (with the exception of Amy Coney Barrett, who did not participate in the vote because the case was heard before she was confirmed) says these guys can sue the FBI for financial damages, to compensate for their suffering.

What a time to be alive

Supreme Court Says Muslim Men Can Sue FBI Agents In No-Fly List Case [Nina Totenberg / NPR]

Image: Public Domain via Library of Congress