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Individuals on no-fly list have due process rights, federal judge rules

Posted Aug 30, 2013 2:10 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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There is a constitutionally protected interest in traveling by air, a Portland, Ore., federal judge recently ruled, and people on the government's no-fly list have a due process right when their travel is denied.

The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 13 people, the Associated Press reports. The plaintiffs want to be removed from the list or told why they are on it.

The government argued that individuals on the no-fly list can find other ways to travel. U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown disagreed, finding that the plaintiffs have a constitutionally protected interest to travel by air. She also asked the government for more information about its redress procedure.

People banned from flights can fill out online forms with the Department of Homeland Security, according to the AP, and the government reviews its decision. If the government stands by its decision to keep someone on the no-fly list, the individual can get judicial review but no hearing where evidence is presented.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010, according to an ACLU press release. The case was initially dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, and in 2012 reinstated by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar case, involving a Virginia man, is pending federal court there, the AP reports..

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