Thursday, June 26, 2014

Federal Court Rules Aviation No-Fly List Violates Due Process and APA

In a 65-page opinion with broad implications, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown of Portland, Oregon, wrote that the current no-fly appeals procedure is "wholly ineffective" and violates  due process rights.

The Judge ordered the government to come up with a new way for airline passengers to challenge travel restrictions. The government should give them basic information, including confirming whether they are on the list and why, she ordered.

By way of background, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit entitled Latif v. Holder were all U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents--including four veterans of the United States Armed Forces. They were not allowed to board flights to or from the United States or over United States airspace. They believed that they were denied boarding because they were on the "No-Fly List," a government terrorist watch list of individuals who are prohibited from boarding commercial flights that will pass through or over United States Airspace.

Each of the plaintiffs submitted applications for redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, but they did not receive explanations as to why they were not permitted to board flights.

Consequently, they sued, claiming that their Fifth Amendment right to procedural due process had been violated because the government had not given them any post-deprivation notice or any meaningful opportunity to contest their continued inclusion on the No-Fly List.

The full decision appears below: