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Judge rules No-Fly list unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled last week that the method by which the federal government places people on the no-fly list is inherently unconstitutional, and must either be changed, or cease.

Specifically, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said the process doesn’t give Americans on the list an effective way to challenge their inclusion. The Oregonian reports: “In a 65-page opinion issued Tuesday … Brown ordered the government to come up with a new way for the 13 plaintiffs to contest their inclusion on the list that prohibits them from flying in or through U.S. airspace. The government must provide notice to the plaintiffs that they are on the roster and give the reasons for their inclusion, Brown wrote. She also ordered that the government allow the plaintiffs to submit evidence to refute the government’s suspicions.

“The decision marks a big win for the plaintiffs, all U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case on their behalf. The plaintiffs have all been denied boarding due to their placement on the list, they argue, despite never having been charged with a terrorism-related offense.”

This decision has nothing to do with the issue of gun control, but it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt how unconstitutional the gun control proposals being pushed in the Senate are. If the list itself is unconstitutional, it certainly is unconstitutional to use it to deny people their second amendment rights under the Bill of Rights.

Not that any of this will matter to the Democrats and the people who support them. It is clearly their goal to limit the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights, and they intend to do so come hell or high water, unless Americans finally decide to throw them out of office.

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  • Cotour

    Not this judge:

    He apparently does not think the Constitution is worthwhile at all, I however think he swore an oath to uphold it though.

    Q: If he as a judge no longer believes in the Constitution then shouldn’t he resign or be removed? I think that is a really good question.

  • wayne

    This is the Judge that openly states reading the Constitution is a waste of time & not to be used when he renders his judicial pronouncements.
    We’ll have to see if Speaker Ryan does anything about this. House investigates & draws up Articles of Impeachment, Senate argues the case. Circuit Courts are entirely the creation of the Legislative Branch.
    …nothing will happen…

    This recent ruling from Judge Brown, totally puts the lie to the Democrat showboating & their RINO compatriots

  • Edward

    Fortunately, some of our politicians understand the meaning of rights: (“Trey Gowdy Grills DHS Official on Due Process” 2-minutes)

    In the US (although, not under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights*), rights belong to the individual and may not be infringed without due process. That is what makes this a nation of laws (the law applies to all) and not of men (the law may be ignored by politicians and their cronies).

    However, by making this list secret, and giving the victim no process to avoid being placed on it, opposition to being placed on the list is denied. Truth is not allowed to be told, and the falsehood is allowed to stand, until after the individual’s rights have been violated.

    Even the judge’s order allows the person to lose their rights before due process is performed and until after they are able to prove their innocence. They still cannot avoid being placed upon the list, but the ruling only gives them an earlier opportunity to fight for the return of their (still unconstitutionally) violated right.

    From the article: “The government must provide notice to the plaintiffs that they are on the roster and give the reasons for their inclusion, Brown wrote.”

    ***The judge’s ruling still violates the due process that Trey Gowdy insists that an individual has before losing their constitutionally protected rights.***

    Due process is still not needed to place someone on the list.

    Guilt is still assumed until innocence is proved.

    Frankly, I do not understand why the article did not point out this miscarriage of justice, the continued violation of American rights, and the neglected governmental responsibility to protect, not violate, those rights.

    The No-Fly List attempts to reward friends and punish enemies, which explains why it has a million names, 50 times more than the terrorist watch list. Right now anyone can be put on the No-fly List for merely pissing off the wrong person, giving bureaucrats undue power to wrongly punish the citizens they are supposed to serve. Someone could even be put on the No-Fly List for opposing the list. Does anyone know what horrible, terroristic deed Ted Kennedy did to be put on the list? Oh, that’s right, he had a similar name to an alias used by someone on the list of terrorist suspects.

    The list was kept secret. Up to now, no one found out that they are on it until they are punished by it — er — until they are prevented from flying, until they discover that their rights have been falsely violated by an out of control governmental system. Even now, they still must prove their innocence to get off it, still a lack of due process. How Fifth Amendment is that? (Are you getting the idea that I am pissed off about this ruling?)

    That is what is happening with the Democratic Party platform: they are choosing to violate the rights of corporations and their owners merely because they disagree with the Democratic Party’s failed faith-based global warming hypothesis.

    As Blair Ivy noted: “Truth welcomes opposition; falsehood denies it.”

    * The UN’s UDHR’s Article 29 part 3 allows the UN to willy nilly chose to violate the rights that they grant to anyone:
    “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

    Who decides whether someone exercising a right is doing so contrary to the United Nations? The UN, of course. Thus, being skeptical of the UN’s IPCC’s declaration that there is man made global warming could be reason to violate that skeptic’s (often called “denier”) freedom of speech, under the UDHR’s Article 19 (fairly low on the list):
    “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

    Notice that the UN UDHR grants rights, but that the US Constitution protects them. The US government, especially with this No-Fly List, even after the judge’s ruling, is doing a very bad job of protecting our rights.

  • wodun

    Who thinks the ACLU would challenge a gun ban for those on this list?

  • BSJ

    Bunch of Fickle Mush Heads!

    I remember when most everyone here was sure Ebola was going to kill us all, and that anyone coming from Africa should be placed under house arrest, for the greater good, you guys couldn’t care less about Due Process.

  • BSJ: You know, I just did a careful search through the archives of this website, including looking at all of your comments here as well as all my posts having to do with the issue of Ebola quarantine, and discovered that you never commented at all during that discussion. Had you made the above comment then, I would have immediately recognized its validity, and thanked you for it. The issue of due process had not occurred to me then, and should have. As much as there was a threat to the general population from Ebola, the fifth amendment should have been a factor in the discussion, which it wasn’t at the time.

    However, you didn’t make that comment then. Instead, you make it now, in what appears to be an attempt to somehow invalidate my concern about the threat to the fifth amendment from the recent proposals by both Democrats and Republicans. It would seem to me if you really cared about due process, the fifth amendment, or even the Bill of Rights, you would instead be celebrating my present concern, rather than make an attack to try to discredit it.

    What these facts suggest to me is that your positions aren’t based on protecting Americans from the abuse of power by politicians, from either party. Instead, it is a carefully crafted partisan position to support the agenda of the Democratic Party. What a shame, placing party above your inalienable rights. When those rights are lost and a corrupt politician from either party finally decides to start imprisoning your political allies because he or she is merely interested in power, I can imagine you will then squeal very loudly, though by then it will likely be far too late.

  • BSJ

    That’s not true Bob! I posted a few times about Ebola.

    I remember the story about the woman from New Hampshire in particular. That fascist Christie confined her to a tent with a porta-potty and some snacks!

  • BSJ

    And my comment was directed more at the peanut galley here. Your defense of Due Process is and has been commendable! Except you did go a bit wonky on the Ebola stuff… :-)

    Look up more of my post. I consistently take shots at ANYONE that threatens the Constitution!!!

  • BSJ: You one comment here is not in response to the Ebola story, but to a post noting the stupidity of the TSA. In many ways it is similar to today’s comment, not used to defend our freedoms but as a sledge hammer to try to discredit my concerns.

    And saying your are not aiming your attack at me but at the other commenters here seems nothing more to me but a nice rationalization. The commenters here who support my position, whom you call “the peanut gallery”, are merely doing the same as I, expressing their fear that the Bill of Rights is being threatened. If you support the Bill of Rights and due process, you should celebrate anyone who supports it, and only take a dim view of positions that might harm those rights. That you instead attack people with these concerns suggests your support is not for the Bill of Rights, but for the people who wish to damage it.

    Which is why you should have made these points during the actual ebola discussion. Keep that in mind for the future. I want people to question what I and others write, especially if they note a place where we have gone wrong on issues of freedom and human rights. I also want them to raise these questions at the appropriate time, so that the conversation here can be worthwhile and edifying.

  • Orion314

    People need to remember that the Bill of Rights EXISTS ONLY because of the 2nd amendment. If the 2nd amendment is ever abolished, you can kiss the other amendments goodbye, because no mechanism will exist to enforce them…

  • wayne

    Judge Brown’s full opinion is here–

    A more interesting question might be posed—would the ACLU have gotten involved if the plaintiff’s were not-the-specific-people, filing the complaint? Not accusing these people of being terrorists are anything at all, but I doubt the ACLU would be as passionate if all these people were white Anglo-Saxon Protestant Trump supporting, straight, gun-owners.

    To be clear, I don’t like these “lists,” & they are blatantly unconstitutional, for the precise reason they are arbitrary & have no redress. And, as has been noted by others– if there are a “million+ people” on these ‘lists,’ what good are they, even if they were Constitutional?

    Present evidence to a Judge and obtain a surveillance/arrest warrant. It’s a good system, when it’s followed. (and that would include immigration status, but it would also presuppose we actually enforce our Laws to begin with, which we don’t.)

    (Am I part of the “Peanut Gallery?”)

  • Cotour

    Orien314 you of course make the most substantial point in this comment thread. No Second Amendment, no America as we know and understand it.

  • BSJ

    Again Bob, My years earlier comment was in support of your post. Then it was a sarcastic attack against the TSA. And those who were all for the TSA confining people!

    And you’ve just admitted that you didn’t consider the 5th Amendment then. BUT I did! So my comment today does have merit.

    I believe I attempted to post directly into Ebola posts, but “security measures” kept me from doing so. I can’t remember if you had reCAPTCHA or something like it back then. But when your site glitches, I’ll re-try to post a few times, but not forever…

  • Edward

    You seem to have confused a medical quarantine with arrest and lost rights. Although a quarantine prevents freedom of movement more restrictive than the No-Fly List, to be quarantined requires reasonable suspicion that those under quarantine may have been exposed to a contagious disease, it is not arbitrary and a certain, previously established, process is followed. The quarantine protects the rights (to good health) of the rest of the population. It also allows for immediate treatment of those in quarantine who develop symptoms. Finally, quarantine is for a limited time, related to the known incubation time of the suspected disease, allowing complete freedom to those who do not develop symptoms. However, the double-secret No-Fly List restrictions were in place forever or until the victim discovered his lost rights and was able to prove his innocence.

    Thus, every male (we hope sex of the suspect was known) with the last name Kennedy and the first initial T would have been arbitrarily placed on the list and secretly lost his rights, just as happened to Senator Ted Kennedy.

    Quarantine may look and feel like an arrest, but even an arrest is constitutional, and for similar reasons.

    The No-Fly List appears to be arbitrarily applied, at the whim of a bureaucrat, and can snag the rights of anyone for any reason, even snag a Senator for merely having a name similar to a suspected terrorist’s alias.

    As far as the article shows, the list is still secret, although no longer double secret; the victim gets notified that he is ensnared for no good reason, but the rest of us are kept in the dark as to the contents of the list.

  • BSJ

    Ed, You are wrong.

    The Governors of various states granted themselves special emergency powers to confine people in tents or their homes or whatever, without even a hint of suspicion that they were contagious. People here were DEMANDING that they do even more. By the way, NONE of the people they confined were infected!!!

    If you don’t see that Governments granting themselves the power to suspend the Constitution, is a problem, you are deluding yourself!

    This is the issue I have with you guys. You are inconstant in your defense of the Constitution.

    Scary diseases = To hell with Civil Rights
    2nd Amendment = Defend to the death
    Legal Immigration = Keep ’em all out, if they worship the ‘wrong’ God.
    4th Amendment = House to House searches at gun point are OK, if a Terrorist might be near by. (Like after the Boston Marathon bombing)

    Flip flop, flip flop.

  • Edward

    Hmm… You may be lumping the various opinions of various people and assuming that we are all one person with one opinion. For example, Cotour and I disagree on several opinions, and I would very much appreciate it if you would not confuse the one with the other, or any other commenter’s opinions for mine, for that matter. It is entirely possible for each of us to be consistent in our own opinions but not consistent with others.

    In fact, Democrats, liberals, and progressives tend to all state the same opinions as though they were one great mass of sameness. This is because anyone who differs from the politically correct opinion, that day, is shunned — and Democrats dislike being shunned, as they think that they have lost all their (Democrat) friends, which they have. Thus, discussion of alternate ideas is shut down and only the PC ideas are allowed to thrive, no matter how bad, uncivil, fiscally irresponsible, or anti-American they are.

    Please do not confuse the conservatives among us for the echo-chamber left wing. We like to discuss alternate ideas and figure out which ones work best. We tend not to assume that we have The Solution, and if it fails to work then assume that more of the solution must be applied in order to make it work. That is left-wing thinking. We *do* think, however, that if our proposed or applied solution fails then we must seek alternate solutions.

    For instance, this is why conservatives are abandoning the global warming hypothesis, as every one if its predictions has failed to pass. It disagrees with observation; it does not work; it is wrong. The key to science: (1 minute)

    Because the hypothesis is wrong, we seek an alternate. Because reasonable discussion has been shut down, it is difficult to discuss alternatives that may show us how to actually save the Earth from mankind’s evil intentions at self destruction — taking nature, the world, and the universe with us. [Oops. *** Sarcasm Alert ***]

    Anyway, the point is that you should not project you and your friends’ homogeneity-opinion onto people who engage in thoughtful discussion of alternate ideas — the heterogeneous.

    Third, I do not recall any state that was randomly quarantining people, as you suggest. As I recall, all the people who were to be quarantined had recently been in epidemic zones. Indeed, one of the people who came down with the disease, here in America, after travelling from an epidemic zone, had not been suspected because he failed to disclose his close proximity to someone who he had taken to the hospital, where she died of the disease. Coming from an epidemic zone on a long-incubation disease turns out to be enough for reasonable suspicion for a quarantine. This is how such diseases are prevented from becoming pandemic. Duh.

    That you missed the part where the demands for doing more were not heeded shows that you missed the part where reasonable actions were taken and unreasonable actions were not. That the people in quarantine were not infected is a *good* thing, and is what happens in a lot of quarantine cases. If you want to stop all quarantines, then you will have to accept the loss of the right to good health for those who *do* become infected in favor of the right to travel of the people who become this generation’s Typhoid Mary — and die unnecessarily because they failed to understand their own symptoms in time to be successfully treated.

    The key here is: “reasonable suspicion,” not “absolute knowledge.”

    Your emphasis on “Scary diseases” is interesting. We do not quarantine for colds, as they are not deadly to the general public. We *do* quarantine for deadly, highly contagious diseases, as the consequences are far greater than for catching cold.

    So, BSJ, what do you think of the Olympians who are not going to Brazil, this year, due to the “scary” Zika virus? Do you think that it is reasonable for them to suspect that they may become infected if they go, or should they all be forced to risk it?

    Finally, because we differ in our opinions on this topic, and possibly others, please do not confuse your opinions for mine. Otherwise, you may accidentally continue to think that I flip flop like a noisy pair of thong sandals.

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