Think dragging the kids through the airport on the way to Grandma's is a hassle? Try being one of the more than 21,000 Americans on the No Fly List. If you're one of these people, you're only option is to travel by ground.
According to the federal government, these Americans -- most of whom are innocent of any wrongdoing -- have no recourse other than to fill out paperwork with the Transportation Security Administration asking that their case be reviewed and they be removed from the list.
We don't agree. Americans have the right to challenge inclusion on the No Fly List through a fair redress process.
That's why two years ago, the ACLU joined with 15 U.S. citizens and permanent residents to challenge their inclusion on the No Fly List.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled last week that the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s secretive No Fly List should go forward.
That's great news for the thousands of people who are wrongly denied the ability to travel because they are on the list. In 2011 alone, the list doubled in size.
Just consider the men pictured above (clockwise from top left), who are part of the ACLU's lawsuit:
- Raymond Earl Knaeble is a U.S. citizen and U.S. Army veteran.
- Ayman Latif is a U.S. citizen and disabled Marine veteran.
- Ibraheim (Abe) Mashal is a U.S. citizen and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, a traveling dog trainer and father of three. He is unable to serve clients who are not within driving distance of his Illinois home because he is unable to board a plane.
- Steven Washburn is a U.S. citizen and U.S. Air Force veteran who was prevented from flying from Europe to the United States or Mexico; he eventually flew to Brazil, and from there to Mexico, where he was detained and finally escorted across the border by U.S. officials.
If they are on the No Fly List, who else is on it? And what are the chances that your name could be added, too?