CNN is Wrong, the “No Fly” List is Un-Constitutional
I happened to be reading a CNN op-ed about putting unruly passengers on the “no fly list.” Sorry, but this p&*%sed me off.
The article is about verbal attacks and physical assaults on airline staff, apparently mostly because of mask mandates. The author suggested a federal “no fly” list for such passengers.
First, either the behavior is legal (perhaps rude, but still legal) or it is not. These are things for courts to decide. It is not up to the airline or even some government body to put someone on a “list” that does not allow them to fly. Airline personnel are not a “protected class” and they are not the only people to be confronted by rude customers. The Constitution of the United States of America requires due process.
If you do violence against someone and the courts find you guilty then the court decides what your sentence will be, perhaps even jail time. The airlines are not part of our Constitutional process.
With CNN’s suggestion, we have not only encountered the slippery slope but are now sliding downwards. If this suggestion is taken, then saying a bad word to a flight attendant means YOUR TRAVEL INSIDE THE U.S. IS RESTRICTED. And you have no recourse.
I have ALWAYS been against “no fly” lists, even in the case of potential terrorists. Punishment by the authorities outside of due process is illegal. Putting un-Constitutional powers in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats is stupid and dangerous.
Since we are sliding the slippery slope, how about if someone just smells bad? Maybe they put their foot in the aisle a bit too much? Talking too loud? OK, what about the next step? Maybe the flight attendant doesn’t like you? Or you spurned his/her advances? Or they pick a fight and then demand money so that you might fly again? Sound ridiculous? No, it’s not. Unchecked power is always abused.
Maybe we should provide a “no restaurant” list for people who are rude to waiters. Maybe a “no drive” list for people who shoot you the bird when you cut them off. The commonality here is the intrusive identification and the desire to abuse that identification to impose penalties outside of the courts.
The “no fly” list is a tool of power. There have been many such, like Hitler’s list of Jews, like McCarthy’s list of Communists, like China’s list of Uighurs, like some I’ve heard about in the old Soviet Union, and many more. It is not the job of our government to make lists of citizens it wants to restrict.
Frankly, I would much rather endure the complete security search (which they do anyway) to make sure 100% that I am not carrying a weapon, than to have to provide ID, endure a background search, and to be subjected to facial recognition as seems to be the new trend. My preference would be to go back to anonymous travel inside the country (and if you ask “what do you have to hide” I will punch you…).
And screw you CNN, your understanding of America is unbelievably poor.