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Justice Department will not appeal judge’s ruling in no-fly list challenge

By Reuters
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 14:24 EDT
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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday it will not appeal a court ruling this year that found problems with how the government administers its no-fly policy.

The U.S. no-fly policy excludes individuals from commercial air travel if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism, but critics say it is practically impossible to be removed from the list once on it.

Rahinah Ibrahim, a Malaysian architect, sued the U.S. government in 2006 after she was told she was on the no-fly list, and was subsequently denied a U.S. visa. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled in her favor, saying that existing procedures to correct mistakes on the no-fly list do not provide adequate due process protections.

At a hearing on Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, the Department of Justice’s senior trial counsel, Paul Freeborne, said the deadline for filing an appeal had passed and that the government did not intend to pursue one.

Freeborne declined additional comment after the hearing.

Ibrahim’s attorney, Elizabeth Pipkin, said they are pleased the government “seems to have accepted the court’s order, after eight years of preventing an innocent woman and the public from learning the truth.”

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Rahinah Ibrahim vs Department of Homeland Security et al, 06-545.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Franklin Paul and Leslie Adler)

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