No-Fly List Ruled Unconstitutional


The federal government’s no-fly list has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in Oregon. U.S. District Judge Anna Brown ruled that because there is no way for those who get on the list to challenge that decision it violates the constitutional rights of those on the list. Brown ordered the government to devise ways that those on the list could challenge their inclusion. She said air travel is a “necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society” and denying those on the list the ability to board airliners is a “significant deprivation of their liberty interests,” according to a Reuters report.

The ruling came from a challenge by 13 Muslim Americans, four of them former members of the military, who are on the list but say they have no links to terrorism. All them found out they were on the list when they were denied boarding. Their case was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2010 and it successfully argued that the secrecy surrounding the list denies those on it any opportunity to use due process to get off the list. The ACLU said government’s security argument for the secrecy was “resoundingly rejected by the court.” Reuters said there are about 20,000 people on the list, including about 500 Americans.