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Insane Clown Posse Discrimination Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Violent J of Insane Clown Posse speaks before the Juggalo March takes off from the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, on September 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse. known as Juggalos, are protesting their identification as gang by the FBI in a 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Insane Clown Posse‘s legal fight against an FBI gang designation hit a major setback on Monday when an appeals court threw out a lawsuit brought by the two members of the group along with four Juggalos. The suit, first filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2014, alleges that fans of the rap-metal duo have experienced “job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, lost child custody and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement” since the FBI labeled them a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in the Justice Department’s National Gang Threat Assessment report in 2011.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed to hear the case after it was previously dismissed, but ultimately ruled that the gang designation could not be challenged because it wasn’t a legally binding rule, and therefore did not directly impact law enforcement. It’s unclear whether the Juggalos will appeal. Shaggy 2 Dope, one half of ICP, told Spin in August that fans who sport clothing and tattoos bearing the group’s “hatchetman” logo do experience discrimination.

“We do meet-and-greets, and in-stores, and we began hearing stories upon stories about people losing their jobs, people losing custody of their kids, people being denied going into the military, getting way stiffer jail sentences for small shit,” he said. “All for the simple fact that they’re wearing something ICP, with the hatchetman on it, or they have a tattoo.” Shaggy 2 Dope also said the group recently struggled to rent space and purchase insurance for its annual festival, the Gathering, because “no one wants gang-related shit.”

Thousands of Juggalos gathered for a march in September at Washington D.C.’s National Mall to protest the FBI’s designation. After the protest, ICP intended to host a concert featuring 2 Live Crew and Vanilla Ice, but the show was cancelled due to “Prince William County Sheriff’s Department expressing ‘concerns’ about Juggalos coming to the area where the event was originally to be held,” the group wrote on its website. Four states also consider the group’s large fanbase a criminal gang.