Pushing to Make a Bad Idea Even Worse
As bad as demands for setting up government as the arbiter of acceptable speech are, a close runner-up for very bad ideas in the wake to the Jan. 6 riots that engulfed the Capitol are those pushing to add even more people to government no-fly lists.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, is all for making an already error-prone program even worse. In a press release, Thompson said:
I am urging the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use their authorities to add the names of all identified individuals involved in the attack to the federal No-Fly List and keep them off planes. This should include all individuals identified as having entered the Capitol building—an intrusion which threatened the safety of Members of Congress and staff and served as an attack on our Nation.
According to Techdirt, this is a terrible idea:
First, the TSA should not be given any permission to do anything, given that it’s done almost nothing with the vast amount of leeway it’s already been granted.
Second, no-fly lists are an unconstitutional mess. Even given the massive amount of deference judges grant to “national security” arguments, courts remain unconvinced that forbidding someone from flying (and then refusing to even acknowledge this fact, much less given them a chance to challenge this determination) isn’t a violation of their rights.
Adding a bunch of people to the no-fly list isn’t a good idea, especially when the government has plenty of power to deal with the perpetrators of this Capitol Hill invasion without deciding they’re no longer allowed to board airplanes.
Government no-fly lists have always been problematic, and riddled with errors. Making them bigger will compound their unconstitutional problems.