CAIR and the leftist media would have you believe that US District Judge Anthony Trenga ruled in September and December 2019 that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Terror Screening Database (TSDB) was completely unconstitutional thereby implying the US Government could not use it. For example, Newsweek reported “U.S. Federal Judge Rules Terrorist Watchlist Is Unconstitutional.”
If a “U.S. Federal Judge Ruled Terrorist Watchlist Is Unconstitutional" in 2019 then why did Hassan Shibly, a prominent attorney who works for CAIR, post this February 11, 2020 report at CAIRFLORIDA.ORG titled: DISMANTLE THE U.S. TERROR WATCH LIST OR AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE TO BE 'TREATED LIKE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS? The answer is because Judge Trenga’s order did NOT invalidate the entire list but only applied “to some of the 23 named plaintiffs” in the case styled Anas Elhady v. Charles Kable.
Florida Family Association sent out several email alerts over the past 2 years that asked people to send emails to urge Judge Trenga to make public safety the priority and not abolish the entire Terror Screening Database. Judge Trenga received more than 13,000 emails sent through the Florida-family.org action email center that urged him to make public safety the priority. Hopefully, the 13,000 emails to Judge Trenga encouraged him along the way not to throw out the entire Terror Watchlist.
Florida Family Association published a report on January 21, 2020 titled: CAIR wins due process for some named plaintiffs but loses bigger legal challenge to abolish entire terror watchlist. US District Judge Anthony Trenga issued a ruling on December 27, 2019 that VALIDATED the Department of Homeland Security Terror Screening Database (TSDB) and did NOT extend his September 4, 2019 order to give relief to unnamed plaintiffs including more than a million non-Americans on the list. Read Florida Family Association’s full report.
Therefore, the DHS Terror Watchlist is still active and being used by thousands of government and business officials throughout the world. That is why CAIR continues to call for the Terror Watchlist to be dismantled.
While the judge did not rule the entire list unconstitutional he did order DHS to refine its procedures to comply with his standard of “due process” for adding and removing names to the TSDB. The judge “ORDERED that Defendants submit to the Court the information and revised procedures identified in its Order dated December 27, 2019 [Doc. No. 3481 within ninety (90) days of the date of this Order, and to the extent the Defendants contend that this information and revised procedures should be placed, in whole or in part, under seal or submitted ex parte or in camera.” DHS has until March 26, 2020 to comply with this order.
DHS has appealed Judge Trenga’s ruling and order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Here are the DHS questions that are on appeal:
1. Whether plaintiffs have standing to challenge the adequacy of the DHS TRIP redress procedures for their alleged inclusion on the TSDB.
2. Whether an individual’s alleged placement on the TSDB implicates a protected liberty interest under the Due Process Clause.
3. Whether the Government’s procedures for seeking redress for an individual’s alleged placement on the TSDB satisfy Due Process.
DHS’s brief to the appellate court is due on March 24, 2020.
CAIR’s response to DHS’s brief is due on April 23, 2020.
Florida Family Association will follow this case and send out future alerts.