I hope they throw the book at all the people who we think stormed the Capitol. And the people who egged them on. And I hope they get fair trials.
But not this: Senator Chuck Schumer on Tuesday called for federal law enforcement to add participants from last week’s riot in the U.S. Capitol to the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list.
Do I have to explain how bad this is? No trials. No due process. Restrictions on freedom of movement on bare allegations. To the extent we limit it — this time — to persons believed engaged in armed trespass, or even just trespass to the Capitol, that’s different from making it purely political. But it’s moving in that direction. And, recall, that even insurrectionists are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The right to travel should not be infringed because someone somewhere who is not accountable puts you on some list that is next to impossible to get off. That applies to all citizens and permanent residents, whether the list-maker thinks you are someone who makes suspicious visits to Muslim-majority countries, whether you are accused but not convicted of a crime, or because they just don’t like you.
I would be OK with a travel restriction (‘don’t go near DC’) for out-of-towners as a condition of their bail after they were arrested and indicted. That’s done by a judge or magistrate, it’s public, and it’s publicly appealable. The no-fly-list is none of those things; there is an appeal process of sorts, but it’s totally opaque.
Update: Retired firefighter, comedian and Chuck Norris falsely accused of being Capitol rioters — this is why we have trials.