Judge: No-Fly List Is Unconstitutional
Air travel an 'aspect of liberties,' she says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2014 2:28 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2014 7:15 AM CDT
Portland Imam Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye was one of the plaintiffs who said their rights were violated by inclusion on the no-fly list.    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(Newser) – In today's world, international travel isn't a "mere convenience or luxury," but "a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society," a federal judge has decided, striking down the government's post-9/11 no-fly list procedures as unconstitutional. The judge ordered the government to revise its procedures to include a way to disclose how a person ended up on the list and to give them a way to challenge the designation, USA Today reports. Around 20,000 people are on the list, including 500 American citizens.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by 13 Muslim Americans—including four US military veterans—who were never charged with a crime, deny any links to terrorism, and say they only learned they were on the list when they attempted to board flights, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ACLU hailed the ruling, saying it will finally give the plaintiffs a way out of the "Kafkaesque bureaucracy" surrounding the secret list. "We hope this serves as a wake-up call for the government to fix its broken watch-list system, which has swept up so many innocent people," a spokeswoman says.

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Showing 3 of 81 comments
Flyer3237
Jun 30, 2014 10:57 AM CDT
The "NO- Fly List" is the government's safety device to keep the public air transportation clear of individuals that might otherwise be engaged in jeopardizing the safety of others aboard airplanes. Granted the system needs to be fine tuned, not over hauled! It's not a right if a person is effectively known to jeopardize other people's health and welfare. That right is then usurped for the benefit of the majority! It has worked pretty well for 13 years. Perhaps a review counsel or oversight committee can take a look at the people on the list that have respectable objections to their names being listed. If they dont Iike the public air transportation system standard's as it currently provides, then they have the right to hire a private airplane! Go figure!
Naked_Emperor
Jun 29, 2014 12:47 PM CDT
How can flying be a right, and driving be a privilege?
BobTrent
Jun 25, 2014 10:41 PM CDT
"Layman's" opinions are irrelevant. Bureaucrats' (such as DMV commissioners') opinions are irrelevant. What is relevant is what the high courts have ruled: "The use of the highway for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived." Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 NE 221. "The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a common law right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579. "The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right." Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941. Traveling by the common and accepted means is a right secured by the constitution, not a mere privilege to be granted at the pleasure of the legislature or some bureaucrat. As every citizen has the right to approach the seats of government, local, state and federal, travel interstate is a federal constitutional right. As interstate travel is composed of intrastate travel, that is a federal constitutional right likewise, despite the opinions of DMV commissioners and highway cops. "The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice." Davis v. Wechsler, 263 US 22, at 24. "The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." Miller v. US, 230 F 486, at 489. Reality is that the states and territories do convert constitutional rights into crimes. When they do so the legislators commit perjury, violating their oaths of office. They mislead law enforcement officers to commit felonies against the people traveling on the public (the people's) roads. Every officer of local, state and federal government swears (or affirms) to "support" the constitution. A couple of relevant clauses of that constitution: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;...shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." -- US Constitution, Article VI, section 2. "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution..." -- US Const., Art. VI, sec. 3. That the legislators and officers disregard the constitution, and trample underfoot the high court cases that command them contrary to their usual unconstitutional and criminal conduct, does not amend the constitution or the laws made in pursuance thereof. But if the constitution does not live in the hearts and minds of the people, it becomes in effect a dead letter. "The right to operate a motor vehicle upon the public streets and highways is not a mere privilege. It is a right or liberty, the enjoyment of which is protected by the guarantees of the federal and state constitutions." Adams v. City of Pocatello, 91 Idaho 99, 101, 416 P.2d 46, 48 (1966) All of the aforementioned cases are easy to find. While many "right-to-travel" cases do not mention automobiles/motor vehicles, many do. The usual manner of issuing citations is that the only witness to the alleged crime is a police officer. Yet one of the most important principles of law, one that has been established for 800 years, is: "Nullus ballivus ponat de cetero aliquem ad legem simplici loquela sua, sine testibus fidelibus ad hoc inductis." Various translations: "No bailiff for the future shall, upon his own unsupported complaint, put anyone to his "law", without credible witnesses brought for this purposes." "In future no official shall put anyone to trial merely on his own testimony, without reliable witnesses produced for this purpose." "In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it." "No bailiff, on his own simple assertion, shall henceforth put any one to his law, without producing faithful witnesses in evidence." "No bailiff [law enforcement officer of the government] shall put anyone on trial by his own unsupported allegation without bringing credible witnesses to the charge." Witnesses paid by the government are not faithful witnesses. Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 US 325 (1983), dissent. As no witness may be sued for damages due to false testimony, else witnesses would be less willing or quite unwilling to testify, neither can officers be sued for perjurious testimony. But the reality is that official witnesses are not, unlike non-official witnesses, liable to prosecution for perjury for giving false testimony against a defendant. An individual officer may be a moral person, one who will not commit perjury no matter how guilty he believes the defendant and how weak he believes the case against the defendant, how much he believes the prosecutor needs his "help" by giving false incriminating testimony. But the law does not rely upon individual morality but upon the threat of punishment for crime. Therefore official witnesses must be deemed unreliable absent supporting testimony from non-official witnesses.