NEW: Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision

( – In a rare showcase of unity from the three liberals joining the six conservative justices, the Supreme Court allowed the lawsuit of a man challenging being included on the No Fly List to proceed in a unanimous decision.

In its assessment, the highest court ruling concluded that the government did not sufficiently prove the case’s irrelevance.

Yonas Fikre, a U.S. citizen who once lived in Sudan, asserted that being put on the list was unfair and started legal action against the FBI. After he was removed from the list and the government stated that it was unlikely he would be re-added, it argued that Fikre’s legal challenge had become irrelevant and should be dismissed.

The government cautioned that allowing cases like Fikre’s to proceed without declaring them moot could cause classified information to be exposed. However, the Supreme Court dismissed this concern and allowed Fikre’s lawsuit to continue.

“Necessarily, our judgment is a provisional one,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the court’s opinion and emphasized that the government’s failure to prove the case’s mootness now does not prevent it from doing so as the case goes on.

As per legal documents, Fikre’s narrative involves an FBI interrogation in Sudan related to his business endeavors in East Africa, an offer to remove him from the No Fly List if he became an informant, which he declined, and being abducted and tortured by UAE secret police following an FBI request.

After leaving the UAE and a failed asylum bid in Sweden, Fikre was sent back to Portland, Oregon, on a private jet after being informed he had been removed from the No Fly List.

The FBI’s attempt to dismiss Fikre’s lawsuit was initially successful, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned this decision, which prompted the government’s Supreme Court appeal.

The government’s reluctance to disclose reasons for No Fly List inclusions by citing security concerns clashes with the Justice Department’s uneasiness about court-mandated exposure of potentially classified justifications.

Representatives for Fikre from Jenner & Block celebrated the ruling as a victory for their client as it restated the judicial system’s role in scrutinizing government security policies.

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