941 F.3d 358 (9th Cir. 2019), 17-35634, Kashem v. Barr

Docket Nº:17-35634
Citation:941 F.3d 358
Opinion Judge:FISHER, Circuit Judge
Party Name:Faisal Nabin KASHEM; Raymond Earl Knaeble IV; Amir Meshal; Stephen Durga Persaud, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General; Christopher A. Wray; Charles H. Kable IV, Director, Defendants-Appellees.
Attorney:Hina Shamsi (argued) and Hugh Handeyside, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, New York; Ahilan T. Arulanantham, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Steven M. Wilker, Tonkon Torp LLP, Portland, Oregon; Richard M. Steingard, La...
Judge Panel:Before: Raymond C. Fisher and Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judges, and Cathy Ann Bencivengo, District Judge.
Case Date:October 21, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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941 F.3d 358 (9th Cir. 2019)

Faisal Nabin KASHEM; Raymond Earl Knaeble IV; Amir Meshal; Stephen Durga Persaud, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

William P. BARR, Attorney General; Christopher A. Wray; Charles H. Kable IV, Director, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 17-35634

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 21, 2019

Argued and Submitted October 9, 2018 Portland, Oregon

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Hina Shamsi (argued) and Hugh Handeyside, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, New York; Ahilan T. Arulanantham, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Steven M. Wilker, Tonkon Torp LLP, Portland, Oregon; Richard M. Steingard, Law Offices of Richard M. Steingard, Los Angeles, California; Joel Leonard, Elliott Ostrander & Preston PC, Portland, Oregon; for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Joshua Waldman (argued) and Sharon Swingle, Appellate Staff; Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney; Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General; Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; for Defendants-Appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Anna J. Brown, District Judge, Presiding, D.C. No. 3:10-cv-00750-BR

Before: Raymond C. Fisher and Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judges, and Cathy Ann Bencivengo, District Judge.[*]

SUMMARY[**]

No Fly Lis

The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of the United States government in an action alleging that plaintiffs' inclusion on the No Fly List, prohibiting them from boarding commercial aircraft flying to, from or within the United States or through United States airspace, violates their procedural and substantive due process rights.

The panel held that the district court properly rejected plaintiffs' as-applied vagueness challenges. The panel determined that the No Fly List criteria are not impermissibly vague merely because they require a prediction of future criminal conduct, or because they do not delineate what factors are relevant to that determination. The panel held that the criteria are "reasonably clear," in their application to the specific conduct alleged in this case, which includes, for one or more plaintiffs, associating with and financing terrorists, training with militant groups overseas and advocating terrorist violence. Furthermore, the criteria are not so standardless that they invite arbitrary enforcement, at least as applied to plaintiffs. Because the panel concluded the No Fly List criteria were not vague as applied, it declined to reach plaintiffs' facial vagueness challenges.

The panel agreed with the district court's disposition of plaintiffs' procedural due process claims. Applying Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 335 (1976), the panel weighed plaintiffs' private interests, the government's interests, the risk of erroneous deprivation through the procedures provided, and the value of the additional safeguards proposed by the plaintiffs, and concluded that the procedures provided to plaintiffs were constitutionally sufficient, or that any error was nonprejudicial. The panel determined that given the national security concerns at issue, and with the exceptions noted, the government had taken reasonable measures to ensure basic fairness to the plaintiffs and followed procedures reasonably designed to protect against erroneous deprivation of plaintiffs' liberty. Because there was no prejudicial denial of basic fairness, the panel did not decide whether, in a different case, less severe travel restrictions might be required as an alternative to a complete ban on air travel. Nor did the panel address whether the procedures employed here would be adequate in a different case.

The panel held that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' substantive due process claims for lack of jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. § 46110(a), which places review of Transportation Security Administration orders in the courts of appeals rather than the district court. The panel noted that although this Court previously held that substantive challenges to No Fly List determinations could be pursued in district court, the 2015 revisions to the traveler redress procedures altered that analysis. Under the new procedures, the Transportation Security Administrator bears sole responsibility for issuing a final order maintaining or removing a traveler from the No Fly List and sole authority to remove a traveler from the list. In light of this change, the statute grants the courts of appeals exclusive jurisdiction over substantive challenges to No Fly List determinations.

OPINION

FISHER, Circuit Judge

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The plaintiffs are on the No Fly List, which prohibits them from boarding commercial aircraft flying to, from or within the United States or through United States airspace. They challenge, under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, both their inclusion on the No Fly List and the sufficiency of the procedures available for contesting their inclusion on the list. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue (1) the criteria for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague; (2) the procedures for challenging inclusion on the list fail to satisfy procedural due process; and (3) their inclusion on the list violates their substantive due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment to the government on the vagueness and procedural due process claims and dismissed the substantive due process claims for lack of jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. § 46110. We affirm.

The district court properly rejected the plaintiffs’ as-applied vagueness challenges. A law is unconstitutionally vague when it "fails to give ordinary people fair notice of the conduct it punishes." Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2556, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015). Here, the No Fly List criteria are not impermissibly vague merely because they require a prediction of future criminal conduct, see id. at 2561; Schall v. Martin, 467 U.S. 253, 278-79, 104 S.Ct. 2403, 81 L.Ed.2d 207 (1984); Jurek v. Texas, 428 U.S. 262, 272-76, 96 S.Ct. 2950, 49 L.Ed.2d 929 (1976) (plurality opinion), or because they do not delineate what factors are relevant to that determination, see Schall, 467 U.S. at 279, 104 S.Ct. 2403. The criteria are "reasonably clear," Village of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc., 455 U.S. 489, 505, 102 S.Ct. 1186, 71 L.Ed.2d 362 (1982), in their application to the specific conduct alleged in this case, which includes, for one or more plaintiffs, associating with and financing terrorists, training with militant groups overseas and advocating terrorist violence.1 Furthermore, the criteria are not "so standardless that [they] invite[ ] arbitrary enforcement," Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2556, at least as applied to these plaintiffs. Because we conclude the No Fly List criteria are not vague as applied, we decline to reach the plaintiffs’ facial vagueness challenges. See Hoffman Estates, 455 U.S. at 495, 102 S.Ct. 1186.

We also agree with the district court’s disposition of the plaintiffs’ procedural due process claims. Applying Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 335, 96 S.Ct. 893, 47 L.Ed.2d 18 (1976), we balance three considerations: (1) the plaintiffs’ liberty interests; (2) the risk of an erroneous liberty deprivation through the current traveler redress procedures, and the probable value of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and (3) the government’s interest in national security, including the administrative burdens that additional procedural requirements would entail. Even when national security interests are at stake, moreover, the government must "take reasonable measures to ensure basic fairness to the private party and ... follow procedures reasonably designed to protect

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against erroneous deprivation of the private party’s interests." Al Haramain Islamic Found., Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Treasury (Al Haramain II), 686 F.3d 965, 980 (9th Cir. 2012). Weighing the Mathews factors, we conclude the procedures provided to the plaintiffs were constitutionally sufficient in the case before us, or that any error was nonprejudicial.

Finally, the district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs’ substantive due process claims for lack of jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. § 46110(a), which places review of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) orders in the courts of appeals rather than the district court. Although we previously held that substantive challenges to No Fly List determinations could be pursued in district court, the 2015 revisions to the traveler redress procedures alter our analysis. Under the...

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