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Federal Judge Defends The Public's Right To Fly

OPB | Aug. 29, 2013 3:17 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 8:54 a.m. | Portland

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People placed on the government’s no-fly list have a constitutionally protected interest in traveling by air — according to a federal judge in Portland.

U.S. District Judge, Anna Brown, ruled on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.  It’s on behalf of 13 people on the no-fly list, including Portlander, Mohamed Sheikh Abdi-rahman Kariye.

The 13 are asking to be removed from the list or told why they’re on it. The government argued that someone barred from flying could use another mode of transportation.

ACLU attorney, Nusrat Choudhury says the judge rejected that idea.

“For the first time a federal court in this country recognized that when the government bans Americans from flying and smears them as suspected terrorists, it deprives them of constitutionally protected liberties.  And the government must give them a fair process to clear their names,” Choudhury said.

Judge Brown only ruled on part of the lawsuit. Before moving forward, she wants the government to tell her more about how people on the no-fly list can find out why they’re on it and how to get off.

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