Judge Rules Americans Have A Right To Air Travel, Takes Aim At ‘No Fly’ List
Judge Rules Americans Have A Right To Air Travel, Takes Aim At No Fly List
by JEAN ANN ESSELINK on AUGUST 30, 2013
in CIVIL RIGHTS,JEAN ANN ESSELINK,NEWS
A Federal Judge in Portland Oregon ruled yesterday that air travel is not a mere convenience as the government maintains, but a constitutional right that cannot be taken away without due process. The decision puts in jeopardy the use of the current No Fly list because the government does not even inform citizens their names are being added, much less give them an opportunity to contest their inclusion. Judge Anna J. Brown ruled:
Although there are perhaps viable alternatives to flying for domestic travel within the continental United States such as traveling by car or train, the Court disagrees with Defendants contention that international air travel is a mere convenience in light of the realities of our modern world. Such an argument ignores the numerous reasons an individual may have for wanting or needing to travel overseas quickly such as for the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a business opportunity, or a religious obligation the Court concludes on this record that Plaintiffs have a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the list.
The lawsuit was brought by the ACLU on behalf of thirteen people, including four former servicemen, whose names appear on the governments No Fly List, though they say they have no idea why. News of the favorable decision was posted on the ACLU website last evening.
The ACLU argued the No Fly List violates the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that a citizen cannot be deprived of liberty without due process. They further argued that no one is ever informed that they are on the list; the only way to know for sure is to buy a ticket and see if screeners allow you on a plane. They also contend that the government will not tell people on the list why they have been included, nor is there any reliable procedure to be taken off the No Fly List. Judge Brown agreed.
This was a good decision, and I hope it stands all the way to the SCOTUS.
Fat Tony will probably say only horse and covered wagon was covered in The Constitution.
It's so hard to find good help these days.
I am really surprised that no court cases against the ursurption of rights have been brought forward all this time.
Usually this is part of the punishment for a crime. But the "no fly list" has no court rulings or oversight.
I have had guns pulled on me, been subjected up to 5 separate searches just to board a domestic flight! I have missed flights when I was there for more than 3 hours! All because a terrorist from South Yeman used my very common name as an alias 1 time!
In the early days after 9/11 they were grossly over-reacting. While waiting in a velvet rope square next to a cop while American Airlines were trying to unfreeze their computer system since my attempt to check in caused their whole system to freeze, not allowing anyone else to check in, I called the FAA. The young man who first spoke called out and said we have another ____ (my name). His supervisor got on the phone laughing. She told me it was the FBI's fault and I would have to talk to them to clear my name. She asked if I was in an airport to which I replied yes. She told me to go to a news stand and look in that months issue of the New Yorker magazine. When I was eventually freed I did, and I saw an article about people with my name and names similar to mine being stopped and harassed like I was.
The FBI blamed it on the FAA with both saying the other was the only one who could take my name off. Eventually, I became a frequent flyer of one airline and could check in electronically and not have a problem. They assigned me an FBI agent that I could have people call to clear me faster except he never answered his phone.
I don't fly much anymore but when I go to Brazil this year I have to plan on getting their 6 hours early. They never take ANY NAMES OFF THE DAMN LIST! The terrorist have won! They use common names as an alias to screw up thousands more people that fly!
probably racked up a bunch of frequent flier miles using one carrier!
...they would have written that in to the constitution. Along with bicycles.
If they were so smart, why didn't they anticipated this stuff? Or even people like Fat Tony?
Anything that reverses these draconian policies, I'm all for it!
Who am I kidding, we're ALL guilty these days.
have the courts been?
The courts can't simply act unilaterally. Someone who is on the no-fly list has to file suit. And they have to show that they are on the no-fly list in order to prove standing. It's an evil catch-22.
Net result -- these things take time to work through.
Read the ACLU's press release:
The national ACLU, along with its affiliates in Oregon, Southern California, Northern California, and New Mexico, filed the lawsuit in June 2010. It represents 13 U.S. citizens, including four military veterans, who are on the No Fly List and banned from flying to or from the U.S. or over American airspace. In July 2012, the 9th Circuit Appeals Court reversed the district court's dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds, and now the district court is considering the case on its merits.
At one point, I believe there was also recognition of a Constitutional right of travel. The law was never fully developed, I believe because t.p.t.b. did all they could to shut it down, recognizing its potential to liberate the serfs from their lands.