WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department is trying to get the Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI dismissed on the grounds the rap group has no right to file suit.
In 2011, the FBI included "Juggalos," the preferred nomenclature for devoted fans of ICP, on a list of known American gangs. According to the FBI, ICP's fanbase is a "loosely organized hybrid gang" that is rapidly growing nationwide and is known to "exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence."
Inclusion in the FBI's "National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends" has cost some ICP fans their jobs, housing and even custody of their children, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Moreover, the ensuing Juggalo fallout is actively costing ICP new fans.
"The Juggalos are fighting for the basic American right to freely express who they are, to gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police," said Michael Steinberg of the Michigan ACLU. Steinberg is representing ICP against the FBI.
"Branding hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members based on the acts of a few individuals defies logic and violates our most cherished of constitutional rights."
The FBI disagrees, claiming ICP does not even have a right to file suit as "there is no general right of protection to a social association."
"We countered that as a matter of law and logic, that the fault lies with the FBI," Steinberg said in a YouTube video posted Tuesday.
"They can't expect to tell the world that the Juggalos are a gang and then say, 'Oh, it's not our fault when your rights are violated.'"
A judge expected to rule on the legitimacy of the suit in two to three weeks. A ruling in favor of ICP would not win them the suit, just the ability to pursue it in court.