New York may have vaccine passport rules for being out in some public venues and for some private businesses, but the U.S. won’t do this. There’s no real way to develop national vaccine passports, since data is kept at the state level, is often messy, and systems don’t talk to each other.
We won’t be able to impose national ‘no dine lists’ for restaurants, but the ex- Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security in the Obama administration Juliette Kayyem wants those who haven’t been vaccinated placed on the government’s ‘No Fly List’.
[A] no-fly list for unvaccinated adults is an obvious step that the federal government should take.
…In the piece, originally titled “Unvaccinated people belong on the no-fly list” …Kayyem argued that existing TSA regulations already set the precedent that rules can be enforced to determine who flies.
She says that “protocols divide passengers into categories according to how much of a threat the government thinks they pose.” And she declares, “flying is not a right.”
The argument for vaccination as a requirement to attend events or travel is that vaccination protects others, and it does, but the CDC now argues fully vaccinated people are more likely to spread the virus than before because of properties of the Delta variant. Requiring vaccination to fly but not to go to the gym or go to bars is a rather odd flex, considering the relatively safe cabin environment that helps reduce spread (which isn’t equally true of airports, of course).
In any case, a vaccination requirement for air travel – not likely to be in the cards – is an entirely different matter than using the government’s terrorism lists for this purpose. And I have little sympathy for those who haven’t recovered from the virus or gotten vaccinated.
The ‘No Fly List’ is the government’s pre-crime profiling that keeps people off of U.S. airlines and airlines flying to the U.S. without having been convicted or even charged with a crime. Here’s how the No Fly List works. It includes U.S. citizens who want to fly home, which is a protected right. In 2016 there were 81,000 people on this list, including 1000 U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
It’s a secret list that people haven’t been entitled to know how they got on or to confront the evidence relied upon to put them on it. Legally there is very little recourse, and when challenged the government claims ‘state secrets.’
People get on the list by mistake (FBI agent checking the wrong box on the form or having a name similar to someone else) and even maliciously (such as retaliation for refusing to cooperate in an investigation). Having the government ban travel on all airlines without judicial review is frightening in a democracy.
In any case, travel is very much a right. Justice Douglas wrote in Kent v. Dulles (357 U.S. 116)
The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.
The ‘War on Terror’ tools like the No Fly List that Democrats criticized when they were introduced by President Bush are being deployed on American citizens, which we learned from Edward Snowden (well, I told you about it pre-Snowden). So it’s no surprise that to see a Democratic administration Homeland Security official look at taking this even further.