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Federal judge rules no-fly list is unconstitutional

Federal Judge Rules No-Fly List Is Unconstitutional

By Dan Whitcomb

June 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. government's no-fly list banning people accused of links to terrorism from commercial flights violates their constitutional rights because it gives them no meaningful way to contest that decision, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown, ruling on a lawsuit filed in federal court in Oregon by 13 Muslim Americans who were branded with the no-fly status, ordered the government to come up with new procedures that allow people on the no-fly list to challenge that designation.

"The court concludes international travel is not a mere convenience or luxury in this modern world. Indeed, for many international travel is a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society," Brown wrote in her 65-page ruling.

"Accordingly, on this record the court concludes plaintiffs inclusion on the no-fly list constitutes a significant deprivation of their liberty interests in international travel," Brown said.

The 13 plaintiffs - four of them veterans of the U.S. military - deny they have links to terrorism and say they only learned of their no-fly status when they arrived at an airport and were blocked from boarding a flight.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought suit against the policy in 2010, argues that secrecy surrounding the list and lack of any reasonable opportunity for plaintiffs to fight their placement on it violates their clients' constitutional rights to due process.

The government contends there is an adequate means of contesting the flight ban and that individuals listed under the policy may ultimately petition a U.S. appeals court directly for relief.

The no-fly list, established in 2003 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, bars those on it from flying within the United States or to and from the country.

As of last year, it included some 20,000 people deemed by the FBI as having, or reasonably suspected of having, ties to terrorism, an agency spokesman said at the time. About 500 of them were U.S. citizens. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Trott)

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gloriaaddeum June 24 2014 at 6:40 PM

THIS IS INSANITY. Yes, why should these poor Muslims be prevented from flying on American airlines? Who are we to inconvenience them as they go about their terrorist activities? Thank you, low info/non-thinking voters, for undoing one of Bush's last safeguards.

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17 replies
belldon10 June 24 2014 at 6:59 PM

Judge should be sent to live in Syria

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3 replies
bh1929 June 24 2014 at 7:21 PM

Give them the opportunity to appeal their status on the no fly list but do not forget about the rights of the other passengers to enjoy a safe flight, free of bombs and wierdos.

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6 replies
soccer_sucks June 24 2014 at 7:16 PM


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13 replies
billcdaly June 24 2014 at 7:36 PM

Next comes Sharia Law granted by either a liberal or Muslim judge.

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5 replies
hokanut June 24 2014 at 7:26 PM

Not all Muslims are terrorists but near all terrorists are Muslim. Sorry, we didn't decide that. That's just the way it is. Deal with it by doing something to end it instead of only protesting when the government tries to protect it's citizens and it inconveniences Muslims. That's the only Muslim protest we ever hear.

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12 replies
crazy ray June 24 2014 at 6:24 PM

I guess it's asking too much to have the judge read the constitution before he rules on it. When they said, "bring in the clowns," I guess they didn't know how much damage they were doing.

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6 replies
dan_crabtree June 24 2014 at 7:51 PM

Appointed to the bench by who else...one Bill Clinton a dem0crat Federal judge as they now in fact ruel this nation as unelected represenatives declaring new ruels all must follow daily...Clinton appointed i think some three hundred plus federal judges that as i type are making the wishes of all democrat party members come true by rueling in there favor..sad as blood will flow for this idiotic rueling..american blood that is..

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2 replies
marlowemar dan_crabtree June 24 2014 at 10:11 PM

Can't spell "rules," 'eh?

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1 reply
retiredatf marlowemar June 25 2014 at 12:35 AM

You do not seem capable of constructing a complete sentence.

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Steve dan_crabtree June 25 2014 at 1:12 AM

Can't spell ruling either. In exact numbers, Bill Clinton appointed 373 federal judges. George W Bush appointed 325 federal judges. George H W Bush appointed 192 federal judges in 4 years, narrowly missing the record at that time which was 193 federal judges appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served for 12 years and 1 month. With all that said, it does not matter one iota! The 0 and the o are very close on your keypad. Be careful!

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1 reply
Carol Steve June 25 2014 at 10:32 AM

And your point? I mean other than showing that you have become a member of the spelling/typo police. Does not matter who "appointed" this left wing nut job. The fact remains that once again, the libers have shown they care more for not OFFENDING people than they do for their safety. (Oh, and I suppose you are a perfect typist/keyboarder.)

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BoB June 24 2014 at 8:51 PM

This is going to cofuse the lefties, gonna be hard to blam Bush for this one. Clinton appointeds this judge idiot.

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1 reply
johntangier BoB June 25 2014 at 9:36 AM


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franklinjefferson June 24 2014 at 6:58 PM

Don't think that only Muslim names are on this list... and some common, generic ones as well. Names like Daniel Brown and Robert Johnson. And I doubt that appealing through a US Appeals Court is a very timely exercise. Apparently, Judge Brown agrees. She didn't rule the list was unconstitutional like the headline states, though. Just that the government has to come up with new procedures for people to challenge their name on the list.

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5 replies
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