The No-Fly List Finally Gets Challenged

I saw a news report that a judge in Portland, OR ruled that the US Government no-fly list has no valid way for travelers to challenge their placement on the list.

The list, one of the craven actions in the post-9/11 time, is one of the egregious violations of liberty with very little “protective” return.

The list is an un-Constitutional example of prior restraint. Travel is a fundamental right, and the secret list, with no way to challenge a persons reason for being on it, and secret criteria for the Government putting people on it, is inherently anti-American.

The Government claims that it can’t tell people they are on the list because people might figure out ways to keep of the list. How about this: if you have been convicted of a travel-related crime, you can go on the list. Otherwise you should not be on the list.

Most claims of Government secrecy that are outside of the defense realm ought to be held to a very high standard before being implemented, and should be justified to an independent review not associated with the agency in question (hmmm, Congress, why don’t you do your job?). Keeping citizens from traveling, using a secret list of people, with secret criteria, and no review, fails that test on many levels.

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2 Responses to “The No-Fly List Finally Gets Challenged”

  1. Tom Says:

    Actually, quite a few folks have challenged being on the list and have been successful in getting themselves removed. The complaint in the Oregon case was that there was no prior notice of being on the list, which is what the judge addressed. That will be interesting in higher courts, as it verges on whether or not a person should be notified that they are under surveillance by a government agency.
    SCOTUS also announced their findings in the AEREO case today. 6-3 against AEREO as a violation of copyright (the 6 least conservative justices). Interestingly enough, the 3 most conservative justices also agree that AEREO should not be allowed under the law to perform their service, but that copyright law does not apply. I’m not sure what other law they cited, as I haven’t read the findings all the way through yet.
    What is most stunning is that SCOTUS actually produced a 9-0 decision in the cell phone search case: a warrant is required, even incident to an arrest. Sometimes, they get it right!

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