In 2011, Insane Clown Posse fans, warmly known as Juggalos, were officially classified by the FBI as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” Taking issue with the label, ICP as well as their Faygo-drinking fanbase descended on Washington, DC this past September to protest. A number of Juggalos, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, also went so far as to file a lawsuit against the Bureau, claiming that their inclusion on the National Gang Threat Assessment report has resulted in repeated harassment from police.
Now, as The Washington Post reports, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals has dealt a blow to the Juggalos camp. The three-judge panel ruled that the FBI’s decision to call the Juggalos a gang wasn’t a “final agency action,” and therefore couldn’t be challenged in court. “No government officials are required to consider or abide by the gang designation,” the court explained.
Additionally, the court said the Juggalos failed to show that the FBI’s classification had resulted in legal consequences. “The various reputational and personal harms suffered by Appellants in the present case may be the practical consequences of the Juggalo gang designation,” the decision read, “but they are not a direct or appreciable legal consequence of the Juggalo gang designation.”
While Juggalos aren’t quite on the same level as the Bloods and Crips, they have been known to have their fair share of violent run-ins with the law. This past July, an axe-wielding Juggalo was arrested after unsuccessfully demanding a radio station play Insane Clown Posse. In 2014, two Juggalos allegedly tried to kill a roommate for disrespecting the music of ICP. But the Juggalos contend those cases were outliers and that the majority of their members “associate with each other to listen to ICP’s music and talk about the group’s ideas, not to engage in criminal enterprises.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Juggalos planned to appeal the ruling. We’ve reached out to representatives of the group for comment.