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.