More than two years after a group of juggalos—the term adopted by fans of the Insane Clown Posse and the Psychopathic Records roster—sued the FBI over the agency's labeling of the group as a gang, the feds are looking to have a judge throw the lawsuit out, arguing that the individuals behind didn't have the grounds to sue anyway.
"There is no general right of protection to a social association," said Amy Powell, an attorney representing the FBI.
She's technically correct. That's why employers are legally enabled to avoid hiring someone who dresses in all red and frequently spells "blood" with their hands. That person is openly affiliating themselves with a notorious gang. Juggalos openly affiliate themselves with a music style that's less than tasteful, but no more dangerous than groups of twenty-somethings who play Grand Theft Auto. So the FBI's classification of the group as a "loosely organized hybrid gang" borders on slander.
"We countered that as a matter of law and logic, that the fault lies with the FBI," said Michael Steinberg, Legal Director of Michigan's ACLU chapter. "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.'"
Among the complaints listed by Insane Clown Posse fans are that they've been forced to cover up "hatchet man" tattoos while enlisted in the military, and even have had children removed from their custody due to "gang affiliation."
If the juggalos lose their case, they can only wonder what comes next. Will they be targeted by the IRS for being tied to a "criminal" music label? Better keep backup copies of your e-mails guys.