Judge: travelers can challenge no-fly list - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Judge: travelers can challenge no-fly list

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You can fight a parking ticket or a credit card charge and even appeal the death penalty. But once you're on the no fly list, there's no way to challenge it even if it's a mistake. Now a federal judge says that's got to change.

About 20,000 names, including about 500 Americans, are on the government's no-fly list. You won't find out if you're one of them until you try to board a plane.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has ruled that international flight is a sacred liberty protected by the Constitution and that when it's denied to an individual he or she has a right to due process.

Federal officials created the list after the 9/11 terror attacks to prevent terror suspects from international air travel. But there have been complaints about mistakes with the names, and an ACLU lawsuit claiming people -- especially Muslims -- were put on the list for no real reason. This ruling mandates an appeal process.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said he supports the decision.

"I actually welcome the idea that people who are on those no-fly lists are actually entitled to get an explanation why are they on that list," he said. "A lot of people with a very common name often times found themselves on those lists because they had a common name."

Another problem for those on the list was finding out what got them there in the first place. The judge ruled that the government must turn over all non-classified information to them and create better appeal procedures.

 

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