Supreme Court to take up Trump appeal over Muslims put on 'no fly list' for refusing to spy

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeal in a case involving three Muslim U.S. residents who say FBI agents placed their names on the federal government’s “no fly list” because they refused to spy on their fellow Muslims.

The men sued the FBI agents over what they say was an unlawful abuse of a federal watchlist that prohibits suspected terrorists from air travel from, to or over the United States. Their refusal to become government informants in terrorism-related investigations was based at least in part on their religious beliefs.

The justices agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a ruling by a New York–based federal appeals court. That court ruled in 2018 that the men could sue under a 1993 statute called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Justice Department, on behalf of the Trump administration, asked the Supreme Court to find that the federal law does not permit lawsuits seeking money damages against individual employees of the federal government.

The case is FNU (First Name Unknown) Tanzin v. Tanvir.