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Insane Clown Posse Loses Legal Fight With FBI Over Juggalo Gang Designation

Appeals court shoots down rap duo’s bid to get their fans taken off of government gang list

Cancel that celebratory Faygo toast, Juggalo Nation.

Rap duo Insane Clown Posse have once again been shot down in their legal battle with the Department of Justice and the FBI over the designation of Juggalos — as their fans call themselves — as a gang. A report from the NGRC stated that “many Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”

ICP members Joseph Bruce (aka Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (ICP name: Shaggy 2 Dope) took up a legal battle with the government agencies after the National Gang Intelligence Center designated Juggalos as “a loosely organized hybrid gang” in 2011. The duo and a “group of self-identified Juggalos” contended that the gang designation violated their First and Fifth Amendment rights.” A district court shot down their argument previously, determining that the gang designation “was not a final agency action,” a decision that an appeals court ultimately agreed with a decision handed down Monday.

According to the decision, for an agency action to be considered final, two conditions must generally be met:

“First, the action must mark the consummation of the agency’s decision-making process — it must not be of a merely tentative or interlocutionary nature,” Monday’s decision read. “And second, the action must be one by which rights or obligations have been determined, or from which legal consequences will flow.”

Monday’s decision found that ICP and the other appellants “failed to demonstrate that the Juggalo gang designation results in legal consequences,” in part because it “does not impose liability, determine legal rights or obligations, or mandate, bind or limit other government actors.”

“For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court,” the decision concluded.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.