Quantcast
Connect with us

Supreme Court affirms border patrol agent’s immunity in cross-border shooting

Published

on

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a Mexican family the right to sue an American border patrol agent who killed their teenage son in a cross-border shooting nearly a decade ago, confirming his immunity from prosecution.

The court’s conservative majority prevailed over its liberal justices in a 5-4 decision with sensitive diplomatic ramifications.

The case stems from the killing June 7, 2010 of Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year-old shot dead while with three friends inside Mexico, near the border line between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to his family, the boys amused themselves by running and touching the border fence line.

Jesus Mesa, a US border patrol agent, opened fire on the boys from the US side of the border, hitting Hernandez, who died 59 feet (18 meters) inside Mexico.

Mesa was granted immunity from prosecution in the United States on jurisdictional grounds that US law could not be applied in the case of a Mexican who died in Mexico.

The case reached the Supreme Court for the first time in 2017, brought by the boy’s parents with the backing of the Mexican government.

But the court declined to take it up at that time, sending the case to an appeals court in New Orleans.

ADVERTISEMENT

That court confirmed the border guard’s immunity from prosecution. However, its decision was contradicted by another court ruling in a similar case, thereby forcing the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

President Donald Trump’s administration, which has taken a hard line on immigration, asked the Supreme Court to guarantee the border guard’s immunity, arguing that to do otherwise could compromise an important national security function.

The court’s majority agreed, saying “a cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications.”

ADVERTISEMENT

It argued that these types of cases should be resolved diplomatically, noting that “Congress has been notably hesitant to create claims based on allegedly tortious conduct abroad.”

“Congress’s decision not to provide a judicial remedy does not compel us to step into its shoes,” it asserted.

ADVERTISEMENT

The court’s four liberal justices disagreed, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing the dissent.

“Neither US foreign policy nor national security is in fact endangered by the litigation,” she wrote, adding that “Hernandez’s location at the precise moment the bullet landed should not matter one whit.”

The American Civil Liberties Union deplored the ruling.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The gravity of this ruling could not be clearer given the Trump administration’s militarized rhetoric and policies targeting people at the border,” said the ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, who argued the cross-border shooting case.

“Border agents should not have immunity to fatally shoot Mexican teenagers on the other side of the border fence. The Constitution does not stop at the border.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident

Published

on

It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.

After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.

"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."

Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist

Published

on

New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.

It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square

Published

on

Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.

Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image