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U.S. appeals court allows extra airport screening of two Michigan men

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - The U.S. government did not violate the constitutional rights of two Detroit-area businessmen, Nasser Beydoun and Maan Bazzi, by routinely subjecting them to extra security screening at airports, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Beydoun and Bazzi, both U.S. citizens from Dearborn, Michigan, accused the government of violating their travel and due process rights by placing them on its "Selectee List" for enhanced security checks.

They said the extra screening has often caused them to miss flights and suffer humiliation.

In a 3-0 decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the extra burdens that Beydoun and Bazzi claimed to suffer were only "incidental or negligible."

Circuit Judge Eric Clay said the case differed from lawsuits over being placed on the government's No Fly List.

"While plaintiffs may have been inconvenienced," Clay wrote, "these burdens do not amount to a constitutional violation.

"Importantly, plaintiffs have not actually been prevented from flying altogether or from traveling by means other than an airplane," he added.

The government has not confirmed or denied whether Beydoun and Bazzi are on the Selectee List.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The decision upheld two lower court rulings.

Dearborn has roughly 94,000 people, including a large Arab-American population.

The case is Beydoun et al v. Sessions et al, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 16-2168, 16-2406.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)