Civil Liberties

Judge Skeptical of Federal Defense of No-Fly Lists

No right to fly or appeal? Really?


A federal judge took a dim view Friday of the government's argument that air travel isn't a fundamental right to U.S. citizens on the no-fly list.

The list, a well-protected government secret, decides who may fly from U.S. airports. It is also, according to testimony, shared with operators of passenger ships as well as 22 other countries.

Thirteen people on the no-fly list have sued the U.S. government, arguing that their placement deprives them of due process and smears their reputation by branding them as terrorists. Several of the men who filed suit have been surrounded at airport security areas, detained and interrogated.

The suit seeks to either remove the plaintiffs from the no-fly list or tell them why they are on it.