Government Affairs Judge sides with ACLU in no-fly lawsuit By Bill Poling / September 04, 2013 Share 1 -- A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that American travelers have a constitutionally protected right to travel by air in international markets. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which launched the case on behalf of 13 plaintiffs who are on the no-fly list, said it marks the first time that a federal court has ruled that constitutionally protected liberties are at stake when the government bans people from flying. In her ruling, Judge Anna Brown of the U.S. District Court in Oregon rejected government arguments that security officials can stop a person from flying while leaving intact their constitutional freedom to travel. The government has contended that persons are not entitled to fly or even to use the most convenient mode of travel, but Judge Brown rejected the idea that "all modes of transportation must be foreclosed before an individual's due-process rights are triggered." She said that "in light of the realities of our modern world," travelers "have a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the no-fly list." ACLU staff attorney Nusrat Choudhury said, "This decision is a critically important step towards vindicating the due-process rights of Americans on the No Fly List. ... The no-fly list procedures violate due process because the government refuses to provide any explanation or a hearing for innocent Americans to challenge their inclusion, and we look forward to making that case to the court." The 13 plaintiffs in the case, four of whom are military veterans, have been prevented from flying to, from or within the U.S. at various times since 2009. All 13 have sought redress through the Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP), but to no avail. The plaintiffs seek to establish their right to a notification that they are the list, an explanation of the reason why, and a meaningful opportunity to contest the decision. Judge Brown's ruling was an interim step in the case, which is still gathering evidence on the adequacy of the TRIP appeals procedure.