Latif v. Holder (No Fly List)
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the ACLU Foundations of Oregon, Southern California, Northern California, and New Mexico have filed a legal challenge on behalf of ten U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who cannot fly to or from the United States or over U.S. airspace because they are on the "No Fly List"—a component of the government's watch list system. None of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including a disabled veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, a U.S. Army veteran, and a U.S. Airforce veteran, have been told why they are on the list or given a meaningful chance to clear their names. Yet, they have been prevented from visiting relatives, accessing employment and educational opportunities, and—for those stranded abroad—returning home to their families, jobs, and needed medical care in the United States.
The ACLU's lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Timothy Healy, in their official capacities as heads of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the Terrorist Screening Center, is filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon on behalf of:
Ayman Latif, a U.S. citizen and disabled Marine veteran living in Egypt who has been barred from flying to the United States and, as a result, cannot take a required Veterans' Administration disability evaluation or bring his two young children to visit family in the U.S.;
Raymond Earl Knaeble, a U.S. citizen and U.S. Army veteran who is stuck in Santa Marta, Colombia after being denied boarding on a flight to the United States;
Steven Washburn, 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;
Samir Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, Abdullatif Muthanna, Nagib Ali Ghaleb and Saleh A. Omar,three American citizens and a lawful permanent resident of the United States who were prevented from flying home to the United States after visiting family members in Yemen;
Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye, a U.S. citizen and resident of Portland, Oregon who was prevented from flying to visit his daughter who is in high school in Dubai;
Adama Bah, a citizen of Guinea who was granted political asylum in the United States, where she has lived since she was two, who was barred from flying from New York to Chicago for work;
Halime Sat, a German citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States who lives in California with her U.S.-citizen husband who was barred from flying from Long Beach, California to Oakland to attend a conference and has since had to cancel plane travel to participate in educational programs and her family reunion in Germany; and
Ibraheim (Abe) Mashal, a U.S. citizen and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, is 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.
The U.S. government's No Fly List consists of thousands of people who have been barred altogether from commercial air travel, resulting in a vast and growing list of individuals whom the government deems too dangerous to fly, but are too harmless to arrest. To deprive people fundamental rights without any notice or opportunity to object is unfair, unconstitutional, and un-American.
On June 24, 2014, the U.S. District Court in Oregon ruled against Defendants, striking down as unconstitutional the government's procedures for individuals on the No Fly List to challenge their inclusion. The federal judge ordered the government to create a new process that remedies these procedural deficiencies.