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Tag: Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca

Supreme Court: Mexican Family Cannot Sue Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teenager in Cross-Border Shooting

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The family of a Mexican teenager killed in a cross-border shooting a decade ago cannot sue the U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired the fatal shot from American soil, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the parents of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, who was fatally shot in 2010 by Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr.

The teenager was on the Mexican side of the border when he was shot.

The central question: When Mexican teenagers are shot on the Mexican side of the border, can American families sue in U.S. courts?

The family of Guereca said the teenager was playing a game with friends when he was shot in the head by Mesa.

Mesa said he pulled the trigger because he was under attack by rock throwers.

The Supreme Court took the case in February 2017 but sent it back to a lower court for more proceedings.

At the time, the Trump administration argued the right to sue in U.S. courts “should not be extended to aliens injured abroad.”

The court’s decision will make it more difficult for foreign nationals to sue federal officers for civil rights violations.

“A cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote, The USA Today reports. “In addition, Congress has been notably hesitant to create claims based on allegedly tortious conduct abroad.”

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg disagreed because the shooting occurred on the U.S. side of the border.

“Neither U.S. foreign policy nor national security is in fact endangered by the litigation,” Ginsburg wrote. “Moreover, concerns attending the application of our law to conduct occurring abroad are not involved, for plaintiffs seek the application of U.S. law to conduct occurring inside our borders.”