February 18, 2022

This week, I wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to reject Delta Airlines’ call to create a federal ‘no-fly’ list for passengers behaving badly on commercial airlines.

A ‘no-fly’ list was created after 9/11 to make sure that those who were seeking to cause chaos and terror in our skies didn’t have the ability to replicate the attacks that happened on that horrific day. Yet that list, while surely it kept terrorists out of the skies, also has prevented some innocent people from traveling freely based on their name. 

I have deep concerns about creating another list that interferes with our right to travel freely. I am not suggesting that there shouldn’t be serious consequences for the violent and erratic actions that we have witnessed on planes. Those that assault flight crews or try to breach cockpits should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and airlines are well within their rights to ban those passengers from flying on their airlines in the future. My qualm is with the idea that we should ban people from exercising their constitutional right to travel freely without due process of law. 

If a situation does arise where a new ‘no-fly’ list needs to be created, it is important that the task fall to Congress, not to unelected bureaucrats. I’ll reiterate: dangerous and belligerent behavior on planes is unacceptable. Putting the safety of flight crews and other passengers in danger, regardless of ones’ reasoning, is unacceptable. However, one’s constitutional rights should not be abridged without due process. I’ll continue to fight for the rights of the people of Wyoming here in Washington no matter what.