Judge: Challenge to government watch list can go forward

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit challenging the U.S. government's terrorist watch list to go forward.

Government lawyers had asked U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria to dismiss the lawsuit, filed in 2016.

The plaintiffs, who are Muslim, alleged they were wrongly added to the watch list. That list is used to develop the government's no-fly list, which bars people from flying, and the "selectee list," which subjects travellers to enhanced screening.

Trenga ruled this week that the plaintiffs have a plausible argument that their due process rights are being violated and said the government's defence of its procedures amounts to a "'trust us' approach."

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Gadeir Abbas with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the lawsuit is the first challenge to the selectee list that has advanced this far.

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