June 2013

In Court Today: Seeking to Rein In the No Fly List

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project 

Today in Portland, Ore., I will be in federal district court with my colleague Ahilan Arulanantham asking a judge to place a long-overdue check on the government’s secretive No Fly List. The ACLU filed a lawsuit after the government put our clients – 13 Americans including four military veterans – on the blacklist that bans them from flying to or from the United States or over U.S. airspace. Each of our clients sought an explanation and a fair hearing where they could clear their names through the only redress mechanism available, the Department of Homeland Security’s Traveler Redress Inquiry Program. The government refused.

Ahilan and I will argue that the government’s decision to ban people from flying without meaningful recourse violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process. Our argument is really quite simple: when the government bans people from flying by putting them on the No Fly List, it deprives them of an essential means of travel in modern life and smears them as suspected terrorists. These are real harms that hurt real people, and they deny our clients their constitutionally-protected right to travel and interest in protecting their reputation.


Oregon Legislature Repeals Surgery Requirement for Gender Change on Birth Certificate

By Becky Straus, Legislative Director, ACLU of Oregon
Kevin Díaz, Legal Director, ACLU of Oregon
Amanda Goad, LGBT Project

With Gov. Kitzhaber's approval of HB 2093 yesterday, transgender people in Oregon will no longer have to show proof of surgery in order to change their birth certificates to accurately reflect their gender. Previously, Oregon law required surgery in order to update a birth certificate gender marker, even for those transgender people who did not need or want it, or were unable to access surgery for financial, medical, or other reasons. The ACLU supported the great work of agency and advocate partners to reach this victory. We are glad to see Oregon's legislature and governor sign off on this important change and advance the rights of transgender Oregonians.