January 26, 2013, Newark, New Jersey - Yesterday evening, the plaintiffs in Hassan, et al. v. City of New York, the federal lawsuit challenging the New York City Police Department’s discriminatory spying program targeting American Muslims, responded to the City’s motion to dismiss the case. Hassan is the first direct legal challenge brought by a broad group of American Muslims from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds who have been victims of discriminatory police surveillance by the NYPD. Their claims are primarily based on their right to equal protection under the law and the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to worship. The plaintiffs’ response argues that the court should reject the City’s assertion that the events of 9/11 justify broad surveillance of any and all New Jersey Muslims, without any indication of wrongdoing. The court’s ruling on the motion will decide whether the case can go forward.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) recently joined the lawsuit as co-counsel with Muslim Advocates. CCR is also currently challenging the NYPD's controversial stop and frisk program in the class action lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, which goes to trial in March. Ravinder S. Bhalla of the Bhalla Law Firm serves as local counsel.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.