Supreme Court Rules Against The FBI

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the FBI’s request to dismiss a grievance by a man the bureau placed on a No-Fly List in 2010.

The man is a U.S. citizen named Yonas Fikre. According to Just The News, he lived in Sudan in 2010 when he learned the FBI blocked him from flying.

Agents reportedly visited Fikre in Sudan, telling him he could not return to the United States unless he agreed to become an informant and report on members and activities associated with a Portland, Oregon, Mosque.

Howe added that Fikre “eventually made his way to Sweden, whose government returned him to the United States in a private jet.”

In a video post, Fikre detailed the negative repercussions he suffered when he refused to become an FBI informant.

In 2013, Fikre sued the FBI, alleging the bureau violated his constitutional rights by forbidding him to fly. By that time, however, the FBI had removed his name from the list, and thus, the lower court dismissed the case as “moot.”

At the time, the FBI stated it had removed Fikre’s name from the list “based on the currently available information,” which appeared to leave open the possibility of Fikre’s name being returned to the list in the future.

The ACLU agreed the FBI violated Fikre’s civil rights, posting, “The government has repeatedly acted to prevent judicial review by taking people off the list at strategic points in litigation without a real guarantee they won’t be put on the list in the future.”

Fikre took the matter to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, who ruled in his favor, prompting the FBI to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the Court unanimously agreed that Fikre’s case could go forward.

Justice Neil Gorsuch commented: “The government’s pledge that it will not return Fikre to the No-Fly List based on “currently available information” does not meet the government’s high burden, and the case should therefore not be dismissed.”

When legal representatives for the FBI argued the bureau’s pledge not to replace a person on the NO Fly List should be sufficient to resolve the case, Justice Gorsuch replied, “What matters is not whether a defendant repudiates its past actions, but what repudiation can prove about its future conduct. It is on that consideration alone—the potential for a defendant’s future conduct—that we rest our judgment.”