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Gilmore v. Gonzales

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
435 F.3d 1125 (2006)


Facts

After the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government instituted a civilian airline passenger-identification policy, which required airline passengers to present identification to airline personnel before boarding or be subjected to a more intense search than passengers who do present identification. John Gilmore (plaintiff) refused to present identification or be subjected to a more thorough search and was therefore not allowed to board his flight to Washington, D.C. Gilmore brought suit against Southwest Airlines and the U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales (defendants) alleging that the identification policy was unconstitutional and violated his due process rights, because it was vague and uncertain. Gilmore’s argument was based on the government’s refusal to disclose the contents of the policy, after citing sensitive security information concerns. The suit was also based on claims that the defendants violated his right to travel and be free from unreasonable searches. The lower court accepted the government’s contention that the contents of the passenger-identification policy could not be disclosed to the public because of security concerns, but reviewed the policy in camera.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Paez, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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