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'No-Fly List': The ACLU claims bias

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 03:36 AM
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'No-Fly List': The ACLU claims bias
Friday, November 5, 2004

'No-Fly List': The ACLU claims bias


A civil liberties lawyer argued in U.S. District Court in Seattle yesterday that the government's use of its "No-Fly List" unconstitutionally discriminates against airline passengers who are repeatedly subjected to extensive identity checks and searches at airports solely because their names are similar or identical to those of people on the list.

"For our clients and thousands like them, getting on a plane means repeated delays and the stigma of being singled out as a security threat in front of their family, their fellow passengers and the flight crew," said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Reginald Shuford.

The ACLU wants U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly to order the Transportation Security Administration to fix the way it manages the No-Fly List, which names people prohibited from flying because they are suspected of being security threats.

The ACLU is representing seven Americans, including an Air Force sergeant and a retired Presbyterian minister who have been subjected to repeated airport searches and delays because their names are similar to ones on the list.

Department of Justice attorney Joseph LoBue told Zilly that "there is no right to proceed through the airport without delay." LoBue invoked the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks as a preamble to his argument that the courts have consistently held that searches of airline passengers are constitutional.
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