Access to Justice

RELEASE: Will the Supreme Court Sanction a Constitution-Free Zone at the Border?

“The Supreme Court shouldn’t sanction a Constitution-free zone at the border that would allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to shoot to kill without any possibility of redress.” CAC Civil Rights Director David Gans

WASHINGTON – Oral argument was held this afternoon at the Supreme Court in Hernández v. Mesa, a case that asks whether the surviving family of a Mexican teenager, shot and killed in Mexico by a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was on the U.S. side of the border, may sue the agent for damages. Constitutional Accountability Center Civil Rights Director David Gans attended today’s argument and issued the following reaction:

In an Oval Office meeting back in March, President Trump reportedly suggested that U.S. Border Patrol agents “shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.” During today’s oral argument, Trump’s Department of Justice argued that persons killed or harmed by Border Patrol agents, even within the United States, should have no right to go to court to remedy the acts of such rogue border guards. In their view, the courthouse doors must be firmly closed against any efforts to hold Border Patrol agents accountable to the Constitution. The Supreme Court shouldn’t sanction a Constitution-free zone at the border that would allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to shoot to kill without any possibility of redress.

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Resources:

CAC case page in Hernández v. Mesa: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/hernandez-v-mesa-u-s-sup-ct/

“Shoot Migrants’ Legs, Build Alligator Moat: Behind Trump’s Ideas for Border,” New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, October 1, 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/politics/trump-border-wars.html

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Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text, history, and values. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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