Press Releases

Diverse Coalition Files Amicus Briefs in Support of CAIR’s Watchlist Challenge

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/3/20) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed amicus (friend of the court) briefs filed in support of its challenge to the unconstitutional Terrorism Screening Database, also known as the watchlist. 

Organizations from across the political spectrum came together in support of the Constitution and against the government’s use of a secretive list to deny Muslims and other Americans their legal rights.

Last week, CAIR filed its brief in Elhady v. Kable, defending a district court’s decision declaring the watchlist illegal. 

SEESecret Terrorism Watchlist Found Unconstitutional in Historic Decision

SEE: CAIR’s Brief in Elhady v. Kable

Earlier this week, seven amicus briefs were filed in support of CAIR:

  • The ACLU, American-Arab Discrimination Committee, Arab American Institute, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Constitutional Rights, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project, and the Sikh Coalition filed a single brief explaining the dark history of watchlists and the problems caused in particular when, like here, such blacklists are compiled based on vague inclusion standards.
  • The libertarian Rutherford and CATO Institutes filed a joint brief arguing about the historic importance of due process and how the watchlist fails to meet those historical requirements.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief discussing the various important and tragic legal consequences that result when the government labels its citizens “known or suspected terrorists.”
  • The Korematsu center wrote an amicus brief focusing on the seldom-told story of Mitsuye Endo, and how the government’s attempts alongside internment to restrict the travel of non-interned Japanese-Americans during World War II remains a stain on this country’s civil rights record to this day.
  • Professor Jeffrey Kahn filed a brief detailing the technical and historic inaccuracies and flaws in the government’s management of the watchlist
  • Muslim Advocates filed a brief discussing both some of the tragic human stories caused by the watchlist as well as the historic misuse of blacklists.
  • The Firearms Policy Coalition filed a brief detailing the watchlist’s infringement on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

    SEE: ACLU et al Brief
    SEE: Rutherford and CATO Brief
    SEE: Electronic Frontier Foundation Brief
    SEE: Korematsu Brief
    SEE: Kahn Brief
    SEE: Muslim Advocates Brief
    SEE: Firearm Policy Coalition Brief

    That such a wide range of organizations share CAIR’s opposition to the federal government’s watchlist highlight its troubling and expansive interference with rights all Americans hold dear.

    CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.


    CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR Trial Attorney Justin Sadowsky, 646-785-9154,