from the bwah? dept
Well, the DOJ has now formally requested that the lawsuit be dropped. The rationale? Because what law enforcement agencies do with the FBI's report is, like, totally not the FBI's fault, man.
Justice Department attorney Amy Powell said the group and its fans have no standing to sue. She said the government is not responsible for how police agencies use information in the 2011 national gang report. Powell said a "subjective chill" as alleged by plaintiffs was not enough to be in court.It's an interesting theory to put forth, that the FBI, essentially the king of domestic police agencies, has no culpability for local police using its report, which included the demonizing of music fans. In other words, the FBI can simply label any group it likes a gang organization without recourse. Local police will, of course, simply point back to the report when questioned about their activities, and now we have a recursive loop of non-responsibility. I'm pretty sure that's some kind of government agency golden egg.
"There is no general right of protection to a social association," she said, referring to First Amendment violations argued by Insane Clown Posse and its fans.
As for there being no right of protection to a social association in the First Amendment, I mean...it does say no law shall be made prohibiting the right of peaceful assembly. If gang laws lead to the FBI putting out a report that causes law enforcement to continually harass groups of citizens not committing any crime, how many degrees of separation from Congress do we have to go before the First Amendment doesn't matter any longer?
In addition, the DOJ also claimed that its latest gang list no longer includes the Juggalos, and believes that law enforcement will no longer make use of the 2011 one, so everyone should just chill out. In short: "bygones." According to the DOJ, it's fine for the FBI to label a group of music fans a criminal gang and have its members harassed for a bit, just so long as, by the time a lawsuit comes about, the FBI no longer considers them a gang.