No Fly List Process Ruled Unconstitutional for Whatever That’s Worth

For whatever it’s worth a federal judge had determined that the process of adding names to the no fly list is unconstitutional:

PORTLAND, Ore. – In a landmark ruling, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional the government’s procedures for people on the No Fly List to challenge their inclusion. The decision came in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit brought on behalf of 13 Americans who found themselves on the list without any notice, reasons, or meaningful way to get off it.

The judge ordered the government to create a new process that remedies these shortcomings, calling the current process “wholly ineffective” and a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process. The ruling also granted a key request in the lawsuit, ordering the government to tell the ACLU’s clients why they are on the No Fly List and give them the opportunity to challenge their inclusion on the list before the judge.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is treating this like a major victory. But anybody who pays attention to this sort of thing knows that the government will just find another way to continue doing what it has been doing. Perhaps it will simply appeal the ruling and move it up until the Supreme Court rules it constitutional. Perhaps it will simply create a secret court, similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, to determine who will be on the list. Perhaps the federal government will simply tell the judge to go fuck himself and not change a damn thing. Either way I highly doubt any actual change will come of this. We’re too much of a totalitarian state for pesky judges to make any effective changes.

On the upside this ruling does give a lot of people a warm and fuzzy feeling inside and that’s worth something.