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First Amendment

Insane Clown Posse lawsuit over fans’ gang designation is dismissed

Posted Jul 8, 2014 11:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the rap group Insane Clown Posse that contended the FBI had wrongly labeled its fans as members of a “hybrid gang.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland of Detroit dismissed the suit last week,the Associated Press reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed the suit against the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of the group and its fans, known as Juggalos. The plaintiffs had claimed the “hybrid gang” reference violated their rights to free association and expression and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.

Cleland found that the plaintiffs did not have standing. Five of the plaintiffs complained of harassment by local police or rejection by the U.S. Army, but the police and the Army are not defendants in the case. A sixth plaintiff, an Army corporal, claimed he feared adverse action by the U.S. Army, but produced no evidence of an impending discharge or discipline, Cleland wrote in his opinion (PDF).

The ACLU has filed notice of appeal.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Rap group Insane Clown Posse sues feds over claim that fans are gang members"

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