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One Strike Against No Fly List; More Scrutiny To Come

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the too-late-i-already-bought-a-horse-and-carriage dept.

Transportation 213

New submitter MickyTheIdiot writes "The Jurist reports: 'A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon ruled Wednesday (PDF) that those placed on the U.S. government's no-fly list have 'a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the No Fly List.' The plaintiffs in the case are 13 U.S. citizens who were denied boarding on flights over U.S. airspace after January 2009.' Judge Anna Brown hasn't ruled on the constitutionality of the No Fly List yet, and has instructed the attorneys involved to present a roadmap for deciding the remaining issues. However, she has acknowledged that the No Fly List is a major burden to those on the list and they have the right to get that status reviewed."

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Anyone should be able to fly (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44719961)

At the very least, someone on the No-Fly list should be allowed to fly if they pay for a second seat and an armed government agent to sit behind them the whole flight.

It seems like if the increased screening actually worked a no-fly list is rather pointless... I mean that should catch any weapons of power enough to do anything, right? And if you simply don't want them entering the U.S. well that's what customs is for.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44719971)

Yes, but when you're using statistics to pre-judge people, you aren't confident enough to spend a fortune on addressing the risk they represent, but you're more than comfortable blindly squashing their rights.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#44720047)

Except that it has been proven that the increased screening actually hardly prevents anything at all.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720121)

Except that it has been proven that the increased screening actually hardly prevents anything at all.

Now why the hell even say this when there is little in the TSA and their fucking ridiculous overreach that would justify their current authority, or even their very existence.

The burden of proof has never really been a burden for any government budget. Ever.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44720221)

Not true, at all.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#44720677)

Ah, a well-thought-out rebuttal. Now you can attempt to prove his statement wrong while we argue about what the word "hardly" means in the context that it was used.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720265)

IIRC back in '72 an El Al flight was hijacked. Since that time
no El Al flight has been hijacked. Now what was it they did to pevent
such thing? Hmmmm - OK I remember - armed guards. If you
steal an EL Al flight - they shoot you!

Next what did/does this cure cost in time and money?
Next problem please.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2, Insightful)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year ago | (#44720449)

Israeli also employs racial profiling. This is something the US can't/won't do (officially). Being PC is costing the US quite a bit, both in terms of effectiveness and monetarily.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (4, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44720529)

It's always odd to me how some are incapable of using the term 'profiling' without the misplaced prefix of 'racial'.

They engage in profiling. Period.

Profiling comes in many different kinds, shame you are ignoring them.

Example: If you pay cash for a one way ticket an hour before the flight leaves and you are carrying only a carry on bag... regardless of race or nationality, you are going to get a more in-depth look than someone who books 6 weeks in advance with a credit card along with their family and multiple bags.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year ago | (#44720619)

I wasn't ignoring them, but pointing out how they would be protested in the US.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720773)

Example: If you pay cash for a one way ticket an hour before the flight leaves and you are carrying only a carry on bag... regardless of race or nationality, you are going to get a more in-depth look than someone who books 6 weeks in advance with a credit card along with their family and multiple bags.

Yup. Colin Powell likes to tell the story of his first plane trip post-Government was a speaking gig arranged at a moments notice so he bought a last-hour, one-way ticket ... and got pulled aside for Special Screening (not the celebrity kind). I don't know if its sadder that if it had happened to Oprah she'd have claimed it was racial discrimination or that I'm not sure it wasn't that in Colin's case.

True facepalm moment is that the TSA guy doing the extra screening on him actually recognized him and kept doing it anyway because a faceless person on a computer had marked Colin's ticket as needing extra checks.

And if you think Israel's profiling is anything but 100% racist then you have a looser definition of "race" than the Likud.

Re: Anyone should be able to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720725)

Racial profiling, and the increased scrutiny for those that fit the profile, may work in a country that is smaller than most u.s. states and has a fairly homogenous ethnic/racial/religious makeup. It would cost orders of magnitude more here in the U.S and the false positive rate would be through the roof.

It's not a matter of PC, it's a matter of efficacy

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720135)

I mean that should catch any weapons of power enough to do anything, right? And if you simply don't want them entering the U.S. well that's what customs is for.

The counter-argument would be that the No-Fly list is part of the 'increased screening'.

In a free society if one is free to travel then mode of transportation is irrelevant. If they have been charged with committing a crime that warrants limiting their travel, then maybe they shouldn't be free to travel at all, the 'air' part seems irrelevant. If they haven't be charged with a crime in a open court of law then there is nothing to discuss and they are free to travel however they choose.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (3)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44720377)

" If they have been charged with committing a crime that warrants limiting their travel ... If they haven't be charged with a crime in a open court of law then there is nothing to discuss and they are free to travel however they choose."

Please tell me that you keep using the word charged when you mean convicted.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year ago | (#44720457)

Your right to travel is often suspended before conviction.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2)

flink (18449) | about a year ago | (#44720459)

" If they have been charged with committing a crime that warrants limiting their travel ... If they haven't be charged with a crime in a open court of law then there is nothing to discuss and they are free to travel however they choose."

Please tell me that you keep using the word charged when you mean convicted.

People charged with a crime often have a their movements restricted as a condition of their bail.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44720521)

Yes. I know. The Constitution is often violated, and the law is often applied incorrectly. The discussion was what should be done, not how the law is presently abused and how the concept of "Innocent until and unless proved guilty" has been thrown out the window with so many of our other rights years ago. For example, did you know that bail was intended to help assure (not ensure) that the defendant would appear for trial? Did you know that a person with a history of appearing for every court date he ever had can still be thrown in jail without a trial in 2013? What is common practice isn't necessarily what is right, especially in the U.S. system of injustice.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44720563)

He probably means charged. Often when someone is charged with a serious crime (felony) they are limited from traveling too far away without the courts permission. I think what he was alluding to was that if you are charged with a crime in an open court (not some secrete court that no one of ordinary means ever knows about until someone leaks information), he sees a case to limit your ability to travel. Outside of that (or a conviction i presume because it is the conclusion of being charged), no limits should ever be placed on the ability for someone to travel by any means by the government.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720767)

no, You have to be charged first to be convicted later.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720225)

At the very least, someone on the No-Fly list should be allowed to fly if they pay for a second seat and an armed government agent to sit behind them the whole flight.

Why should they pay? The Israelis and the Chinese already provide at least one armed agent per flight for free. The US authorities are just too cheap to do so, I guess.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44720595)

You have the anti-gun crowd freaking out at the thought of a gun in the US. Kids are getting suspended and expelled from school for pointing fingers like they were gun and in one case, eating toast or a pop tart in a way that the food ended up looking like a gun before it could be finished being eaten. Armed guards on Airplanes probably freaks them out even more then the concept of someone blowing a hole in the side of the plane or hijacking it and crashing into a skyscraper. I don't think it is about it being cheap at all. Just irrational paranoia.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44720667)

Why should they pay?

I'm just saying there should be some way they can fly, even if entire unreasonable, rather than no way at all.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720229)

If any American citizen not guilty enough to be arrested wants to board a domestic flight then they should be able to bring their own restraints through security. The cabin crew can then ensure these are securely fastened before takeoff.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44720389)

"If any American citizen not guilty enough to be arrested wants to board a domestic flight then they should be able to"

If only you had stopped right there.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44720317)

This is most likely not about airline safety, as you pretty well identified. There is exactly zero increase in security if a person is not allowed to travel by plane.

So what is the reason? That's the thing I don't get. You don't increase safety (the alleged benefit). You don't line anyone's pockets (the usual benefit). Why do it?

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (2)

tukang (1209392) | about a year ago | (#44720471)

It does line someone's pockets. Maintaining and enforcing a no-fly list costs money. Follow the money.

or what about a full body cavity search? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44720373)

or what about useing the Israeli airport security system?

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about a year ago | (#44720643)

Why should they have to pay when they've done nothing wrong, and the government has been given billions in funding to handle security. There should be an air marshal on board anyway, so they should just limit the number of highly suspicious people per flight. Of course if we're talking about one of those fools that tried to open the door mid-flight, or teabag the sleeping stranger in the next seat, then they only have themselves to blame.

International? What about Hawaii? (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44720657)

I would like to know how I can drive to Hawaii? Or how I can drive to Alaska without the permission of a foreign government.

Ferry (3)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44720687)

You can board the ferry at Bellingham, washington and get off at Alaska without ever going through Canadian customs.

You can't drive to Hawaii that I know of but you can take a cruise there from the mainland.

Not sure what your real point was though.

Re:Anyone should be able to fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720699)

Putting someone on the no-fly list puts them out of reach of the most invasive and detailed government surveillance system we have in place today.

If they aren't going through the airport data-gathering and scanning systems on a routine basis, it is a lot harder to keep track of them.

So....let them fly!

 

There's going to be a lot (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44719963)

There are a lot of people coming in here, saying "about time" or something similar. What this attitude fails to incorporate is that the judicial system isn't concerned with unjust policies until they actually create injustice. And even then, an actual judge has to be less terrible than those that created the policies in the first place.

It takes a long time, and is a natural component of how checks and balances work in the US. It's not perfect, and sometimes the bad comes from congress faster than it can be addressed, but this is how things are supposed to work.

Re:There's going to be a lot (0)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44719985)

There are a lot of people coming in here, saying "about time" or something similar.

You must be prescient... your post is the second comment on this article, and the other one says nothing of the sort. Unless by "here" you mean where you're physically located. Good point, but I don't see the a lot of people you're responding to.

Re:There's going to be a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720141)

He's just being pre-emptively prescient, or being attacked by strawmen.

Re:There's going to be a lot (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44720261)

Pre-emptively prescient, as I was honestly wondering why he was watering down his good point with an outright fabrication.

Re:There's going to be a lot (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about a year ago | (#44720571)

There's going to be a lot

(from the post's subject line)
Seems like they just forgot to edit their body text to match their subject, or something.

Re:There's going to be a lot (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#44720017)

No, this is not really how things are supposed to work. Congress is supposed to be relatively slow to action so that the judiciary has time to check and balance. Congress was never intended to be a nearly full-time job....

Re:There's going to be a lot (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44720395)

What this attitude fails to incorporate is that the judicial system isn't concerned with unjust policies until they actually create injustice.

The first person denied his right to travel without due process has suffered an injustice.

It's not perfect, and sometimes the bad comes from congress faster than it can be addressed, but this is how things are supposed to work.

This isn't how it works. This is how it fails to work. There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever in allowing this sort of injustice to continue for over a decade. That it's taken so long is proof that our checks and balances need checking and rebalancing.

Umm is there a way to tell if you are on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719965)

Besides trying to fly?

I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky....

Re:Umm is there a way to tell if you are on the li (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44720069)

Of course not. It would without doubt compromise National Security if the secret lists were known. I mean, think about it - they would have to justify the names, and risk losing face. That's always a National Security issue.

No, you'll never get me up in one of these again. Cause what goes up, must come down.
 

Re:Umm is there a way to tell if you are on the li (3, Funny)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44720113)

I believed I could fly
I believed I could touch the sky
I thought about it every night and day
Just board a plane and fly away
I believed I could soar
Now agents are running through that open door
I believed I could fly
I believed I could fly
I believed I could fly

Re:Umm is there a way to tell if you are on the li (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44720163)

Although it's really more like:

I shot for the sky

I’m stuck on the ground

So why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down

I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?

I'll never know why it’s coming down, down, down.

Oh I am going down, down, down

Can’t find another way around

And I don’t want to hear the sound, of losing what I never found.

Re:Umm is there a way to tell if you are on the li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720429)

Jump out of the window. If you miss the ground, then you're not on the list.

Matter is far from over (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44719983)

From the article:

Judge Anna Brown has not concluded whether the government's use of the no-fly list violated the plaintiffss constitutional rights to due process, stating in her opinion that, "the court is not yet able to resolve on the current record whether the judicial-review process is a sufficient, post-deprivation process under the United States Constitution." Brown has given both parties till September 9 to file a joint status report setting out their recommendation as to the most effective process to ensure that the court may come to a conclusion on the remaining issues

So there are still some big issues to resolve, before the practically inevitable appeals begin.

There will be some tough issues to work through since no doubt some of the evidence in individual cases is classified. Still, there should be some sort of process to have information in one's favor considered. Both sides have a point.

Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year ago | (#44720001)

Tell us, misleadingly [wikipedia.org] , how the Constitution doesn't specifically mention the right to travel, and then sleazily recast this into the context of coercion of private corporations. You've done it a hundred times before, so get to it.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44720109)

The argument that the Constitution doesn't specifically mention the right to travel is bullshit, according to the Ninth Amendment [wikipedia.org] . Anyone who holds a diploma from a US high school should know that. A Federal judge who actually supports that bullshit argument is, in my opinion, incompetent. Parent's "jackbooted apologist" label would also fit such a judge.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0, Flamebait)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44720159)

You have a Right to keep and bear arms, but not any arms you want.

You have a Right to travel, but not by any mode you want. For example, there is no Right to drive a motor vehicle in the US, nor is there a Right to fly on an airplane.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720257)

when you decide the constitution is a "living document" up for reinterpretation, then there are NO rights at all.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (-1, Troll)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44720355)

When you decide the Constitution is not subject to reinterpretation, then you've demonstrated that you're a fundamentalist idiot.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44720541)

Tell that to your banker when they try to collect on your debts and you demand that they re-interpret your loan agreement in ways that are more favorable to you.

"Sure it says that payment is due by the 10th of the month... but it didn't specify which month, clearly it is a month of my choosing and you hitting me with late fees is just improper!"

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44720589)

I'm not going to waste my time having the wrong argument, over a flawed analogy. Have a nice evening.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720581)

When you decide to use an ad-hominem attack rather than contibute usefully to the debate, then you have demostrated your own worth in this conversation.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44720635)

When you decide to use an ad-hominem attack rather than contibute usefully to the debate, then you have demostrated your own worth in this conversation.

Yea, except he didn't do that - previous AC pointed out that if the Constitution allowed for itself to have it's meaning changed at a whim, there wouldn't be any point in the document existing to begin with.

And he's right about that; the founders made the Amendment process 1.5 bitches for a damn good reason.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720705)

zontar the mindless. very apt.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (2)

martas (1439879) | about a year ago | (#44720267)

And if there was a form of transportation that was functionally nigh-equivalent to air travel, your point would not be moot. But there isn't, so it is.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720331)

Your Constitution says the first part of both those sentences. Only your Govt says the second part.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44720359)

However it should be since we pay for it.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

profplump (309017) | about a year ago | (#44720483)

There's no right to *operate* a motor vehicle on public roads. I'd argue there is a right to be conveyed by one.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720751)

You have a Right to keep and bear arms, but not any arms you want.

You have a Right to travel, but not by any mode you want. For example, there is no Right to drive a motor vehicle in the US, nor is there a Right to fly on an airplane.

Says who? A lot of gun owners have t-shirts and stickers which say things like "what part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?" Maybe you don't like guns. Doesn't really matter because what the Constitution says is what it says. I would ask the same thing of just about everything else. It's true that the government says it has the right to restrict arms, and it's true that the government says it has the right to restrict driving a car or flying on a plane, and I would ask just exactly what besides complacency gives them the right to do any of that?

The Constitution, and this is very important so read slowly, does not grant any rights at all. Barack Obama caught hell from people who don't understand the law or the English language during his first campaign when he very correclty used the phrase "negative rights" in describing the Constitution. The Constitution states that rights are inherent in being a person, period. It points out some rights, mostly by way of those specific things having been the cause for much abuse during colonial days, but it also says specifically the following: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" (Ninth Amendment).

In other words, just because the Constitution doesn't specifically say you have a right to fly doesn't mean you don't. Same with driving. Government doesn't get to grant you those rights because government under this constitution can't grant any rights at all. It can only restrict some, subject to what the Constitution says it can (hence the 'negative rights' stuff). I get that regulators, cops, and other such busybodies have conned everybody into believing the opposite, but what we've really got going on here is a fundamental forgetting of who we are as a people and what our founding documents actually mean.

Never, ever for one minute believe otherwise. Try to convince others of the same. What we've got here is authoritarianism run amok and it's way past time that we un-run it.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720515)

Yeah, but Federal Government is specifically given the ability to regulate interstate commerce. Since the airline certainly participates in interstate commerce, the Feds have the authority to regulate it (which they do, via the FAA among other bodies), this does not cleanly fall under the Ninth.

I believe that the no-fly list does not apply to non-commercial (e.g. private, military, etc.) flights.

dom

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44720655)

But the 9th amendment also doesn't support the opposite conclusion.

The Government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action, and its laws, when made in pursuance of the Constitution, form the supreme law of the land. There is nothing in the Constitution of the United States similar to the Articles of Confederation, which exclude incidental or implied powers. If the end be legitimate, and within the scope of the Constitution, all the means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, and which are not prohibited, may constitutionally be employed to carry it into effect.
-- McCulloch v. Maryland - 17 U.S. 316 (1819)

In short, Congress has the power to enact laws not specifically listed in the constitution. The 9th amendment says the people retain rights not specifically listed in the bill of rights. The process when non-enumerated laws clash with non-enumerated rights isn't exactly clear, sometimes the Supreme Court has "found" a right and a few times Congress has amended the constitution to specifically enumerate a few more like the 13th amendment. In many cases neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has been willing to recognize a right that people think they have. It's an argument, you can't from a plain reading of the law conclude either way.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720729)

the government says the government has powers not enumerated to the goverment, so the government must have those powers.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44720741)

Except for the Tenth Amendment [usconstitution.net] , which explicitly prohibits Congress from enacting laws that are not constitutionally within its purview .

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about a year ago | (#44720195)

You seem to forget that the Constitution grants powers from the people to the government, not the other way around. Too frequently people wrongly assume that the only rights people have are those expressly reserved for the people by the Constitution.

If a power is not mentioned in the Constitution the government does not have that power. It remains with the people.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720277)

You seem to forget that the Constitution grants powers from the people to the government, not the other way around.

That's exactly the point he was making, Captain Reading Comprehension.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720371)

You might want to ascertain which post Frobnicator was actually responding to, next time, before you start slagging him. You'll look (and be) smarter that way, Captain Can't Follow The Thread.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year ago | (#44720279)

Pretty sure you agree with GP.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (3, Funny)

wytcld (179112) | about a year ago | (#44720323)

The power to fly, at the time of the Constitution, belonged only to a small minority of the people: witches. If the founders had been asked whether they wished to extend the power to fly to everyone, what should their answer have been? "Sure, let's all be witches"?

Or would they have affirmed the right of witches to be left alone in the sky without interference? Would they have seen that as the prohibited establishment of a state-supported religion?

Note to the "agencies": I accept piecework mocking the sincere concerns of my fellow citizens for their freedoms, thereby helping diminish their resistance to your superb safe-keeping of our insecurities.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44720633)

Or would they have affirmed the right of witches to be left alone in the sky without interference? Would they have seen that as the prohibited establishment of a state-supported religion?

The witches would have been seen as the free exercise of religion, unless they were receiving a government contract or endorsement of their flying-around-advancing-behavior.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (2)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44720551)

You seem to forget that the Constitution grants powers from the people to the government, not the other way around.

Even a pretty anarchic libertarian is going to think that the Interstate Commerce clause, has some kind of non-abused non-perverted legitimate meaning, where The People really did intend to grant some sort of power over something. No?

How broadly those words were meant, is something worth fighting about, sure. But if someone buys a ticket to use a commercial airplane, where the airplane crosses state lines it's not totally crazy that the federal government has the power to regulate that commerce. Maybe it's wrong (probably not, though), but it's not on-the-face-of-it totally stupid, is it?

We shouldn't be outraged if the feds happen to think they're allowed to be involved in this.

The part I don't get, is why the federal government thinks that its regulatory power is best used, by turning the transaction into some kind of broken fraud thing. It's like there's some regulator dude, and he gets the bright idea, "I know how we can best regulate this trade! Let's make it randomly break sometimes, where people buy tickets and make plans, and then at the last moment they get surprised by not being allowed to get their money's worth for the ticket, and their other plans are disrupted and their hotel bill is for nothing, and we don't even tell them ahead of time or why." To that guy, I just wanna give a big FUCK YOU, and I wanna tell who ever opposed the plaintiffs in this case, to fucking drop it and concede that the government screwed those people with its evil and incompetence.

But evil and incompetence aside, the power just might have been granted. Just like if, for example, Congress decided that to mail a letter, you have to pee in a cup. It would be stupid, but running the post is one of the their powers, to fuck up however they may. But fucking things up with evil, stupidity, shortsighted incompetence with malice toward the American people, and exceeding Constitutional authority are two different things.

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#44720345)

Where in the constitution does it say anything about the right to travel? And even if it did, surely just because you have the right doesn't mean that you have the right to force a private company to transport you when you're on the no-fly list?

(OK, are you happy? Are you happy now? *sigh* The sad thing is I suspect you're right and someone out there is itching to write the above non-sarcastically, and to add insult to injury they consider themselves libertarians...)

Re:Come on, you jackbooted apologists... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#44720367)

squiggleslash, allow me to introduce you to Nathan Poe [rationalwiki.org] .

Ah, I see you've already met.

another reason for high speed rail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720039)

at least for distances like from SF to LA.

Re:another reason for high speed rail (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year ago | (#44720199)

at least for distances like from SF to LA.

The TSA wants to set up airport levels of security at train stations as well. It is just a matter of time. Heck, they tried to do that kind of security at bus terminals as well, but the bus companies really threw a fit and bitched to the proper congress critters and got that rule proposal killed and buried.

I'm just waiting for screening checkpoints along interstate highways every 20-50 miles or so. That ought to make life real fun.

Re:another reason for high speed rail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720247)

They haven't done permanent checkpoints, but the TSA has been known to hit the highways.

Oh, and, your papers, tovarisch.

Re:another reason for high speed rail (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about a year ago | (#44720537)

I'm just waiting for screening checkpoints along interstate highways every 20-50 miles or so. That ought to make life real fun.

Haven't traveled the highways around the Mexican border recently, have you?

Conviction without a Trial. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720057)

If the government decides that someone is a threat such that they shouldn't be allowed to fly, then they should be arrested and tried for whatever crimes they're accused of.

If they haven't committed a crime and are simply guilty by association, then they are being punished without a trial. Not being able to fly is a very strong punishment.

Re:Conviction without a Trial. (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44720133)

From a government that now assassinates citizens without trial, not being allowed to fly is a pretty mild punishment.

Re:Conviction without a Trial. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720325)

Zieg heil Obama and his infinite mercy!

A constitutional right to fly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720075)

I cannot see how a "right to travel" implies a "right to fly". According to openstreetmap, the U.S. has a nice road network that anyone can use . . .

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44720131)

There is no Right to Drive in the US, where driving is a rather a privilege.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (5, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | about a year ago | (#44720303)

There is no Right to Drive in the US, where driving is a rather a privilege.

In the Articles of Confederation [wikisource.org] , the following right is explicitly granted:

"the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce"

-- Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, Article IV, Paragraph 1

This document is still technically a part of the United States Code, although I haven't seen it cited as rationale in a legal argument for preventing the "no fly list". This is also one of the few individual freedoms explicitly mentioned in founding documents that is not a part of the Constitution of 1787. As to if this document still holds legal weight could also be questioned, I suppose, but technically all the Constitution of 1787 did was update this document. It certainly puts such notions of "it is a privilege not a right" legal theories into serious question.

In other words, the right to travel is an explicitly granted constitutional right and not something that can be extrapolated more loosely from things like the 9th Amendment (which I think this quote amply shows something previously thought of as an individual right not to be eliminated by its absence in other legal documents).

You might be able to argue that the internal combustion engine itself is regulated and requires an operator's permit, although that is a real stretch. States simply can't prohibit either entry or exit of other otherwise legal citizens of other states and it can be assumed that includes travel internal to that state too.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (2)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44720653)

As to if this document still holds legal weight could also be questioned, I suppose, but technically all the Constitution of 1787 did was update this document.

Afraid not. The US Constitution is a full replacement for the Articles of Confederation, and why they opted to do full replacement vs a (long) series of amendments... is a much lengthier discussion.

The Articles of Confederation have as much legal weight today as the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, which is the same as the Federalist, Anti-Federalist papers, as well as the ratification debate notes... interesting insights into the thinking & deliberations at the time.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720709)

This document is still technically a part of the United States Code, although I haven't seen it cited as rationale in a legal argument for preventing the "no fly list". This is also one of the few individual freedoms explicitly mentioned in founding documents that is not a part of the Constitution of 1787. As to if this document still holds legal weight could also be questioned, I suppose, but technically all the Constitution of 1787 did was update this document. It certainly puts such notions of "it is a privilege not a right" legal theories into serious question.

No one argues that because the Articles of Confederation do not have the force of law. They were superseded by the US Constitution.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720447)

There is no Right to Drive in the US, where driving is a rather a privilege.

You don't have to be the operator of the vehicle tpo travel by it. Being a passenger in a card does not require any special privilege or license, and could be argued is a right.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44720561)

There is no Right to Drive in the US, where driving is a rather a privilege.

The privilege of operating a motor vehicle on public roads, and the right to be a passenger in one are VERY VERY different things.

Similiarly I don't think anyone is especially outraged that the government restricts who can fly a plane. (That would be anyone without a pilots license in good standing, which is most people, including me.) The contentious issue is restricting who can be a passenger in one.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44720285)

A right to travel implies that you may also choose your means of transport. Because, well, why stop at planes? Bar them from trains, busses or using their own car. If we now just break their legs they can have all the right to travel they want to, but can't use it.

It's a bit like getting the right to free speech and having your mouth glued shut. You may speak... if you find a way to. What value is in a right you cannot execute because the means to use it are taken from you?

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44720385)

Good luck driving from LA to Honolulu. Let us know how that works out for you.

Re:A constitutional right to fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720569)

I cannot see how a "right to travel" does not imply a "right to fly". What authority give the government the right to limit particular forms of travel? Can they ban walking backwards?

what does the no fly list actually enforce? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720087)

Does the no-fly list make it illegal for the person on the list to fly, or illegal for a common carrier to carry them, or some other thing like they can't enter the controlled space at the airport? I could do the research but maybe someone who knows can explain it much better than the legalese in the law, and I'm not even sure if the relevant laws aren't in that crazy "secret law" category that seems to show up when the TSA is mentioned.

One part that is concerning to me, beyond the constitutional issues, is that even if one accepts that it is necessary for safety to have a list of people who should be subjected to additional scrutiny prior to flight, that suspect person can't be cleared as "safe to fly" with essentially unlimited invasive screening by the TSA. Which means either (a) the security measures are easily bypassed even when a person is targeted for extreme scrutiny or (b) the no fly list actually serves a policing or political function, that is, to locate / harass / intimidate / prevent the free travel of / etc. of people who manage to make it on the list. I'm guessing it is the latter, which is depressing, but not surprising. Abuse of power seems to be an unavoidable part of giving people power.

Re:what does the no fly list actually enforce? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720473)

Which means either (a) the security measures are easily bypassed even when a person is targeted for extreme scrutiny or (b) the no fly list actually serves a policing or political function, that is, to locate / harass / intimidate / prevent the free travel of / etc. of people who manage to make it on the list. I'm guessing it is the latter, which is depressing, but not surprising. Abuse of power seems to be an unavoidable part of giving people power.

Actually it's both. The screening methods don't work very well and only have the apparent effectiveness they do because no one (competent) is actually trying to destroy/hijack commercial airplanes.

The whole system is basicly Lisa' tiger-repelling rock.

The "no fly" list has always been asinine (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44720411)

At worst, being on the list should mean you're subject to a full search of your luggage and person to make sure you're not carrying explosives or weapons. Not that you can't fly at all.

Re:The "no fly" list has always been asinine (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#44720525)

At worst, being on the list should mean you're subject to a full search of your luggage and person to make sure you're not carrying explosives or weapons. Not that you can't fly at all.

Maybe, but then if something does go wrong who gets the legal liability? The Airline. So, even if the government cleared someone to fly, the Airline cannot be forced to board you. What Airline is willing to take that risk? In fact, there have been a number of people that Airlines have deemed "suspicious" that they have removed from flights even after they cleared security. Pretty much all of them have been later cleared and flown on other flights with no problems.

Re:The "no fly" list has always been asinine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720703)

The asinine part was that it was based on name, a non-unique identifier. It would be one thing if there was a thumbprint scan, SSN or some other identifier that could be tied to an individual. Instead, someone could get added to the list because of someone else sharing their name.

Airlines are private companies (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year ago | (#44720423)

Can't the airlines reject anybody on the no-fly list since the airlines are a private corporation? They're not violating any discrimination laws. How is this any different from a restaurant that "Reserves the right to refuse service"?

If Delta won't fly people on the do not fly list, go find an airline that will fly them.

Re:Airlines are private companies (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44720543)

The airlines reject people on the list because no corporation is going to fight the government over something like the no-fly list. It doesn't impact their bottom line in any significant way and I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't forced to check and reject people for being on it by law.

You'll be extremely hard pressed to find a single airline that would let you fly if you were on the no-fly list. The simple reality is that the list has no business existing.

Re:Airlines are private companies (1)

profplump (309017) | about a year ago | (#44720593)

No airline is allowed to fly people on the list. It's not a choice by the corporation, it's a rule from the government.

This is a defeat of our security. (1)

Lanboy (261506) | about a year ago | (#44720431)

At least we can still detain people indefinitely without charging them or a trial, and assassinate american citizens and foreigners using radio controlled missiles, amirite?

Travel by air? (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44720663)

No? So, take a boat.

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