ACLU Claims “No Fly” List Violates Constitutional Rights, Sues Government

07/01/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Westlake, OH—The federal government was sued Wednesday, June 30, 2010, based on allegations that the federal “no fly” list infringes upon the constitutional rights of innocent individuals. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit just days after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) placed a 6-year-old girl on the list, according to information provided by WJW and previous coverage by Justice News Flash.

The lawsuit comes after a Continental ticket agent at Hopkins Airport informed the parents of Alyssa Thomas, 6, that their daughter was on the “no fly” list. While Alyssa’s parents subsequently filed an appeal with the DHS, Fox 8 brought the matter to the attention of Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich said the DHS made an error in placing the child on the list, which was created as a means of preventing known or suspected terrorist-affiliates from flying. “I really think this story would allow the DHS to come up with a plan or a system to help these kinds of errors, the accidental entries or the miscommunication that can be easily rectified,” Dr. Santhosh Thomas (Alyssa’s father) said.

Prior to Alyssa’s removal from the “no fly” list, she received a letter from the DHS, stating, “We can neither confirm nor deny any information about you which may be within federal watch lists or reveal any law enforcement sensitive information… This letter constitutes our final agency decision.”

According to James Hardiman of the ACLU, “That particular case kinda highlights how ridiculous some of the decisions that are being made actually are… It’s unfortunate that people are now being lulled into a false sense of security that certain people can be placed on a list and that will somehow make us safe from terrorism.”

The DHS and FBI did not comment on the pending litigation or the case in general. However, it is estimated that by the end of 2009, up to 4,000 individuals had been placed on the “no fly” list.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Civil Rights Lawyers.

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