updated 1/12/2005 8:36:54 PM ET 2005-01-13T01:36:54

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government’s no-fly list of terrorist suspects barred from boarding airliners.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly threw out the bulk of the case for lack of jurisdiction, saying that most claims brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of people with names identical or similar to those on the list must be taken directly to a federal appeals court.

He dismissed the rest of the case on the merits, saying the no-fly list had resulted in no “tangible harm” to the plaintiffs’ lives.

The ACLU has yet to decide whether to appeal, spokesman Doug Honig said Wednesday.

He noted that the federal intelligence overhaul bill, which President Bush recently signed into law, includes a provision mandating that the Transportation Security Administration improve its process for protecting people such as those involved in this case.

Federal prosecutors had argued that airport searches and no-fly lists are the price Americans pay for safety after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The ACLU named as plaintiffs seven people who have been repeatedly stopped at airports and questioned for as long as an hour before being allowed to board.

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