By Steve Neavling
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that three Muslim men may sue individual FBI agents for damages after they were placed or kept on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to become government informants.
In a unanimous decision, the court wrote that Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah and Naveed Shinwari, who are U.S. residents and were never suspected of illegal activity, may seek damages under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, USA Today reports.
“A person whose exercise of religion has been unlawfully burdened may ‘obtain appropriate relief against a government,'” Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, quoting the federal law and saying the term ‘government’ extends to individual officials.
“A damages remedy is not just ‘appropriate’ relief as viewed through the lens of suits against government employees. It is also the only form of relief that can remedy some (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) violations,” Thomas wrote.
The men were eventually removed from the no-fly list but said they lost income, as well as money spent on airline tickets.
It’s just the latest case in which the Supreme Court recently defended religious freedom.