t1larg.nofly.list.giIn a lawsuit that challenged the federal no-fly list, a U.S. District Court in Oregon, ruled that passengers have a Constitutional right to fly internationally, but it has yet to decide if the government’s procedures are enough to deny that right for security concerns.  The 13 plaintiffs, including 4 U.S. military veterans, sued in 2010 after being stopped from traveling.  They stated they believe they are on the no-fly list.  They also say they were stopped from making religious pilgrimages, visiting family, attending school, and were severely inconvenienced because boat travel takes more than a month.  The ACLU supports the case.

“This is the first federal court decision to recognize that when the government bans Americans from flying and smears them as suspected terrorists, it deprives them of constitutionally protected liberties and must provide these Americans a fair process to clear their names,” Nusrat Choudhury, a staff attorney for the ACLU said.

The plaintiffs also argue that their right to due process was violated because they were not told they were on the list or given any way of fighting their inclusion.  About 20,000 people were on the no-fly list as of 2012 and 400 of them are Americans.  U.S. officials will not confirm who is on the no-fly list or any other “terrorist watch” list compiled by the FBI. 

The judge has requested information from both sides about the redress process before deciding if the procedures are enough.  There is a process for removing a person’s name by submitting information to the Department of Homeland Security.  If passengers are unhappy after that, they can take the government to court.  The plaintiffs said that process is not adequate, since the government doesn’t acknowledge if someone is on the list, if they have been removed from the list, or why they are on the list.  The government argued in court documents that it can’t tell people if they are on the no-fly list because that would reveal classified information.  The next hearing is set for September 9th.

  1. Lon Spector says:

    Let me tell you we now live in 1984. If you think a terrorist event is likely to happen don’t
    tell anyone! They will inform on you and you will be survailed. Then you’ll be followed around
    all the time like that poor fellow Richard Jewel from a couple of years back. They hounded
    him into an early grave.


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