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Testing opaque security power, Michigan man challenges ‘no-fly list’


“For over two years I tried to get off the no-fly list, but the government won’t even give me a reason to get on the list or a fair process to clear my name and recover my rights”. Mr. Chebli said in a statement released by the ACLU: “No one should suffer what my family and I must have suffered.”

The Justice Department did not have an immediate response to the trial. But he has defended the legality of the government’s terrorism watchlists and its related practices in litigation over the past decade, arguing that the proceedings are legal and reasonable given the national security interests at stake.

Mr. Chebli’s case follows a major lawsuit brought by the ACLU under the Obama administration that challenged government procedures to consider whether it was appropriate to put someone’s name on the list. ‘flight ban. In 2014, an Oregon federal judge ruled that these regulations were inadequate and violated Americans’ Fifth Amendment due process rights.

In response, the government promised to revise the traveler repair survey program to ensure Americans would be notified if they were on the list and had a meaningful opportunity to challenge the decision. (He also removed seven of the original 13 plaintiffs in that case from the no-fly list. Several remaining plaintiffs insisted, but this judge, and later the San Francisco court of appeals, upheld the revised procedures that were applied to them.)

Citing Mr Chebli’s inability to obtain information on government evidence about him or to challenge it in a hearing before a neutral decision-maker, the new prosecution said the revised procedures are both unconstitutional and that they violate statutory law, including a federal law that protects religious freedom, the 1993 Restoration of Religious Freedom Act, as he cannot travel to Mecca for the required Muslim pilgrimage.

“Over two years ago, Mr. Chebli filed an administrative request for redress, but the government has provided no reason to place him on the no-fly list or a fair process to challenge this placement,” did he declare. “As a result, Mr. Chebli was subjected to unreasonable and lengthy delays and an opaque appeals process that prevented him from clearing his name.”

Beyond the Oregon case, the retrial takes its place among a constellation of related litigation that has tested the limits of the government’s terrorism monitoring powers and individual rights.



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