Friday, January 11, 2013

Judge Rejects Obama Administration Ploy To Dismiss 'No-Fly' Suit With Secret Evidence

Business Insider
Michael Kelley

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by the Obama administration to use secret evidence to derail a former Stanford student's attempt to challenge her inclusion on the government's no-fly list, Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In 2005 officials detained Rahinah Ibrahim when she attempted to fly from San Francisco International Airport to her native Malaysia. The then-Standford doctoral student and her 14-year-old daughter were allowed to take a flight the next day but were not allowed to return to the U.S. two months later.

The U.S. Consulate later informed her that her student visa had been revoked under a terrorism law, according to Egelko.

In 2009 Ibrahim settled claims against police and others involved in her arrest for $225,000, but brought a new suit because her inclusion on the no-fly list has barred her and her daughter from returning to the U.S. for nearly eight years. (Ibrahim has four children.)

The government argues that it cannot discuss its no-fly list because it would "reveal or tend to reveal information that is classified."

Consequently the Justice Department called District Judge William Alsup and said an agent would bring him evidence for dismissal of the suit but would take it back because Ibrahim's counsel couldn't be "trusted to handle sensitive information."

Alsup — who had actually dismissed Ibrahim's case twice before but was overruled on appeals — refused to see the secret evidence and scheduled the trial for December.

The judge added that the government must stop "persistent and stubborn refusal" to follow the legal precedents for sharing evidence.

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