Supreme Court Sends Cross-Border Shooting Case Back To Lower Court


The Border Patrol said at the time Hernandez was pelting US agents with rocks from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande before the shooting.

"The facts alleged in the complaint depict a disturbing incident resulting in a heartbreaking loss of life", the Supreme Court said.

Lower courts dismissed the parents' lawsuit, in which they claim Mesa violated Hernández's rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution. "Whether petitioners may recover damages for that loss in this suit depends on questions that are best answered by the Court of Appeals".

The Supreme Court on Monday also ordered two other cases that touch upon immigrant rights to be argued for a second time in the fall so that Gorsuch can participate, likely breaking a tie vote.

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In an unsigned order, the justices directed the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at its decision in a similar case where a Border Patrol agent in Texas shot and killed a teen who was in a culvert on the Mexican side of the border. When they draw their weapons and aim across our border, they now know that this is not a free killing zone, where lawlessness is unchecked and shootings are not investigated.

According to the majority decision, "a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part".

The Supreme Court declined to rule on the broader case overall, ordering the lower appeals court to reconsider the case against certain legal points that were not weighed the first time around. And he says Donald Trump's presidency has added further significance to the case that the Supreme Court initially chose to take up before the election.

The case is Hernandez v. Mesa. Bush, the court ruled that Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees could challenge their detentions in USA court.

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Mexico and London-based Amnesty International, among others, have filed amicus briefs in support of the family. Hernandez Guereca was on the Mexican side of the border, in Ciudad Juárez, when Mesa fatally shot him from the Texas side.

The Supreme Court had ruled in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez in 1990 that the Constitution provides non-citizens no protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents beyond the USA border.

The en banc court held that the family failed to state a claim for a violation of the Fourth Amendment because Hernanadez was "a Mexican citizen who had no "significant voluntary connection" to the United States" and "was on Mexican soil at the time he was shot". The report said 19 of the shootings killed the victims. Then, in April 2015, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Mesa, saying he was entitled to immunity because Hernandez was south of the Rio Grande when the shooting happened. In the video, Sergio peers from behind a concrete pillar as Mesa's fatal shot rings out.

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