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The government's actions are in response to a June decision by US District Judge Anna Brown of Oregon, who ruled that the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program run by the Department of Homeland Security was unconstitutional and does not provide "a meaningful mechanism for travelers who have been denied boarding to correct erroneous information in the government's terrorism databases."
The government maintained that disclosing whether somebody is or isn't on a no-fly list would be a national security danger.
“This is a victory for transparency and fairness over untenable government secrecy and stonewalling,” said Hina Shamsi, an ACLU lawyer on the case.
Judge Brown's decision is expected to help others challenge their placement on the list.
One of the seven ACLU clients who was notified that they were not on the list was Ibraheim Mashal, a Marine veteran and dog trainer of Illinois.
“More than four years ago, I was denied boarding at an airport, surrounded by TSA agents, and questioned by the FBI,” Mashal said in a statement. “That day, many freedoms that I took for granted were robbed from me. I was never told why this happened, whether I was officially on the list, or what I could do to get my freedoms back. Now, I can resume working for clients who are beyond driving distance. I can attend weddings, graduations, and funerals that were too far away to reach by car or train. I can travel with my family to Hawaii, Jamaica, or anywhere else on vacation."