No-Fly list doesn't fly with judge

Things seem to be going well at the ACLU's day in court over the no-fly list. The judge is pretty skeptical at the idea that using secret criteria to secretly limit the ability of Americans to fly (or board an ocean-going vessel) is consistent with democratic principles. "To call it 'convenience' is marginalizing their argument." -Judge Anna J. Brown


  1. “Too dangerous to fly (even after additional screening) not dangerous enough to detain or investigate for any crime” is a ridiculous classification on its face.

  2. Man, what is going on this week? Is this Overturn-All-The-Stupid-Laws week or something? Cause it’s only wednesday and there’s a bunch more dumb laws left to overturn.

      1. That’s only a bad ruling because Congress is a collection of disfunctional toddlers.  The formula, and the states it is applied to, is out of date, and pre-clearance should probably be applied to all districts in every state.

    1. Bear in mind that an executive branch doesn’t get to create or repeal laws, but can poorly defend laws that have been challenged through the courts, establishing court precedent and effectively changing the law forever, even when the legislative branch does not agree with the executive branch.

      1.  Ah – the hypothetical Executive. You are of course aware that the no fly list is maintained by the DHS which is part of the Executive? Yes? If your hypothetical executive was opposed to the list, you think they’d stop adding names, or at least give the method they use to add names, or maybe allow some form of redress instead of screaming State Secrets whenever a court challenge arises.

        1. To put it another way, Congress may write the laws, but the Executive gets to decide how to enforce them.

      2. Stop apologizing for Obama’s sad and pathetic administration.  The executive branch has more power than it has ever had in the history of the United States.  He can merrily hand out executive orders to be transparent and there is fuckall that legislative or the judicial branch can do.  He hasn’t done this.  Obama personally defended the mass domestic spying program being perpetrated by the military against domestic civilians.  No law or act of congress compelled him to do such.  The same goes with most of the TSA and other “war on terror” rules.  It is all easily killed with an executive order.

        Face it.  Obama is horrible.  He might be less horrible than Romney or McCain would have been, but that is very small consolation.  Whatever your political affiliation, if you believe in freedom, liberty, and think that a surveillance state to defend against a threat that ranks right up there with “attack by bathtub” is fucking stupid, you should be pissed at the Obama administration.  You should show how pissed off you are during your party of choice’s primaries by giving the fucking boot to any cowards who advocate a surveillance state.  When Hillary hits the primaries in 2016, you should show her the curb and give the nomination to someone who isn’t a fucking traitor coward in the face of the pathetic threat of “terrorism”.  Ditto for the Republican primary (though, I won’t hold my breath on that one.).

        Seriously, fuck Obama and one of the least transparent administration in the history of the US.  The fact that Obama might have been a little bit less horrible than Romney is a fucking pathetic and small consolation.  Fuck that guy.  Seriously, fuck that civil liberty destroying piece of shit Obama.  If you are not frothing at the mouth pissed, you are doing it horribly wrong or are a god damn mother fucking piece of shit coward who pisses him/her self over the pathetic and small threat of terrorism.

        1. He might be less horrible than Romney or McCain would have been, but that is very small consolation.

          If McCain or Romney had won, DOMA would have been confirmed today. Perspective.

          1. So I should be grateful to the guy who broke into my house and stole my laptop.  Had it been some other burglar, he might have left an upper decker in my toilet as well.

            Just because something could have been worse, doesn’t mean it’s “good”.  It was entirely possible for obama to appoint reasonable supreme court judges AND refrain from shitting all over our basic human rights.  The fact that he just couldn’t help himself is legitimate reason for criticism.

        2. I’m a Libertarian, so I wasn’t expecting Obama to be able to fix Bush’s economic damage, but I really liked Candidate Obama and was looking forward to some Hopey Changey Stuff, like closing Gitmo, ending warrantless wiretapping, and prosecuting or at least firing torturers.  I don’t know where they got the President Obama who showed up instead of him, but he’s been a horrible disappointment.

  3. Antinous, the problem is that the only thing our(or your) votes can change are socially important but essentially non-economic things like civil rights, gun control, abortion, and other designated culture war items.  They are important but they are forever kept in play so nobody ever notices the machine gobbling up our ability to to make the world a better place for EVERY interest group.
    It seems that every constituency group is made to grab for its own piece of a rapidly shrinking pie of their civil rights and ability to provide for themselves; divide, conquer, rule, and profit.
    With the DOMA victory did you ever consider how morally wrong it was in the first place allowing the state to control marriage licenses precisely to deny them to the couples/groups they don’t approve of?  If a family wants to incorporate for tax benefit let them do so, a religious/cultural coitus grouping deserves no special tax or benefit recognition over someone who remains single.

    1. While you’re fantasizing about your libertarian utopia, I’d like to have equal rights.

      1. I would like to appear politically correct, and you and I have crossed words in the past….those people, you people, if you prefer, have always had more equal rights than the average black American. You have had legions of “now out of the closet”, more equal than most minorities could ever dream about because gays have been firmly entrenched in the media for decades. You have always had a platform! You have always had a tight, well heeled, well funded knit group to effect your political agendas. I would never deny you that right(s), but the level playing field, the one that many in the LGBT community claims is like “being black” has never been the same field, much less the same game. Failure of SCOTUS to affirm the Equal Rights Voting Amendment should have never happened. DOMA should have never been an issue before the courts anymore than my bi-racial marriage was an issue in 1966. People in the LGBT community have many barriers to surmount but the power of that community, the reach of power and influence of that community is stuff of dreams for those of us shackled by the color of our skins!  

  4. As much as I like the fact that the abominable TSA is getting court scrutiny, I don’t hold out much hope here, regardless of the judges attitude or eventual ruling. The DHS will simply ignore the ruling on the grounds of ‘because terror” and nothing will change.

    1. Apparently they just need their special secret court issuing a secret dispensation, using a secret interpretation of the law, based on secret evidence/facts/arguments. 

  5. I’ve been on double-secret probation ever since the Patriot Act was passed, but I’m not allowed to tell anyone about it.

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