Friday, August 29, 2014

Feds balk at court’s order to explain no-fly list selection process The US shouldn't place innocent people on the no-fly list, lawyer says.

The Obama administration is fighting a federal judge's order requiring it to explain why the government places US citizens who haven't been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database.

The administration is challenging the demand from US District Judge Anthony Trenga, who is presiding over the Virginia federal court case. In asking Trenga to reconsider his August 6 order, the government responded last week: "Defendants request clarification of the purpose of the requested submission so that defendants may respond appropriately."

Trenga's decision is among a series of setbacks to the government's insistence that any serious discussion about the no-fly list—about how people get on or off it—would amount to a national security breach.

A federal judge in June, for example, ruled that the Department of Homeland Security's method for the public to challenge placement on a no-fly list is unconstitutional. The government was ordered to revise the removal process, which was called "wholly ineffective." And just last month, a government manual on how the authorities place people on the no-fly database—being a terrorist not required—was leaked and published by The Intercept.

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