Terror watchlist violates rights of Americans, U.S. Federal Judge

A federal judge of the  United States   ruled that the ‘Terrorist Screening Database’ violates the constitutional rights of American citizens who are on it, deciding in favor of 23 citizens who sued after being placed on the watchlist.

The ruling from Judge Anthony Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia calls into question federal authorities’ practice of using the list to support decisions on people’s ability to travel.

Trenga found the watchlist deprived the citizens of due process, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

“The general right of free movement is a long recognized, fundamental liberty,” Trenga wrote. The government decision-making “is a black box — individuals are not told, even after filing, whether or not they were or remain on the (terrorism) watchlist and are also not told the factual basis for their inclusion.”

The judge ordered both sides of the case to come up with arguments for what should happen next following his decision and those arguments could influence the fate of the database and the federal government’s process.
The citizens who brought the suit had asked for the judge to order their removal from any government lists that prevented them from flying or crossing the border into the US, which Trenga didn’t do.
The 23 people had claimed they should have been given notice to dispute being placed on the list.
The watchlist is not the same list as the No-Fly List.

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