Thursday, April 24, 2008

About those watch lists...

A federal magistrate judge in Chicago has ruled that protecting state secrets is not a valid argument for the government to refuse to tell American citizens whether they are on the terrorism watch list, the Terrorist Screening Database. The ruling, signed on April 16 but made public by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois on Wednesday, ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. to give the court the files regarding the 10 Muslim or Arab-American plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit starting in 2005, seeking court protection from what they contend is unwarranted harassment at the border. The magistrate judge, Sidney I. Schenkier of Federal District Court, said the court could review the information to decide whether it should remain classified. The F.B.I. said it had no comment.

New York Times,
April 24, 2008

Not likely this will survive appeal. Further up the judicial pecking order, too many judges seem pretty relaxed about giving away our legal protections. But it is nice to know that there's a judge somewhere who thinks there ought a process before the government can put people on its terrorist lists.

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