The Federal Government has allegedly used the No-Fly list to prevent a witness from flying who was going to testify against the No-Fly list in court. It is high time the authority to ban people from air travel was reviewed in court. Today’s ruling is good news!
Brown ruled that flying internationally was not, as the government asserted, a “luxury” but a right that could not be revoked at a whim by the government without any challenge.
Though Brown didn’t rule the no-fly list as such unconstitutional, she did order the government to create some system whereby Americans wrongly included on the list could submit evidence of their innocence.
My worry here is that the government is going to be intentionally obstructive in how they set up any appeals system. They have used the list as a weapon in the past. They aren’t going to want to lose that weapon. I doubt it would be that difficult for the government to set up an appeals system that was so hard to use that it discouraged people from appealing their inclusion on the no-fly list. Then it would require a whole new use of the court system to try to force the government to be more reasonable.
But even if the government drags its feet the ruling is still important. For one thing, it destroys any plans to build on the no-fly list to create other lists of prohibitions for people.
For example, remember how Rahm Emanuel wanted to make the no-fly list into a no-gun list. See it at about 1:15.
At least we now have a court ruling that stops such nonsense.