PORTLAND, Ore. - A panel of federal judges grilled Justice Department lawyers on Friday over the US government's "no-fly" list, questioning whether those barred from commercial air travel for suspected terrorism ties are given any realistic avenue for appeal.

Government attorneys were asked to defend the process as lawyers for 15 Muslims in the United States who have been placed on the no-fly list sought to reinstate their constitutional challenge of the airline security measure.

The plaintiffs, who are US citizens or permanent legal residents, said they learned of their "no-fly" status when they were blocked from boarding a commercial flight without prior notice, and were later denied any effective means of petitioning the government to be removed from the list.

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