Another Key Ruling in the No-Fly List Case

By Wells Bennett
Friday, February 7, 2014, 4:13 PM

Released today: this quite significant order, containing the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law in Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security---or the "No-Fly List Case" [h/t Wired].

We got something of a sneak peek last month, when Judge William Alsup handed down a summary version of his ruling.  (A trial was held in December.)  The summary suggested that the plaintiff---an academic and Malaysian national--- would prevail in her long-running lawsuit, in which (among other things) she had claimed a violation of her right to due process.

Now we have the more complete version; and indeed it appears to hand a victory to Ms. Ibrahim. According to the court, the United States had conceded at trial that she is not a security threat; additionally, the federal agent who initially nominated her for the no-fly list admitted, during trial, that he did not intend to do so at the time.  In light of these and other factual findings, the order's operative part instructs the government as follows

A. The government shall search and trace all of its terrorist watchlists and records, including the TSDB, TIDE, KSTF, CLASS, TECS, IBIS, TUSCAN, TACTICS, and the no-fly and selectee lists, for entries identifying Dr. Ibrahim.  The government shall remove all references to the mistaken designations by Agent Kelley in 2004 and/or add a correction in the same paragraph that said designations were erroneous and should not be relied upon for any purpose.  Declarations signed under oath by appropriate government officials shall be filed no later than NOON ON APRIL 15, 2014.  The declarations shall certify that the government has searched, cleansed, and/or corrected in the same paragraph all entries identifying Dr. Ibrahim and the mistaken 2004 designations.  Each declaration shall specifically detail the steps and actions taken with respect to each watchlist.
B. The government must inform Dr. Ibrahim of the specific subsection of Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B), that rendered her
ineligible for a visa in 2009 and 2013.
C. The government must inform Dr. Ibrahim that [REDACTED]
D. The government must inform Dr. Ibrahim that she is eligible to at least apply for a discretionary waiver under 8 U.S.C. 1182(d) and 22 C.F.R. 41.121(b)(1).
E. All of the foregoing must be done by APRIL 15, 2014.