Originally published by The Hill
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to take up a case about whether Border Patrol agents can be sued in U.S. federal court over the shooting and killing of Mexican citizens on the southern border.
The case stems from the cross-border shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was playing a game that involved running over the U.S.-Mexico border.
The boy's family alleges that he was shot and killed from across the border by a Border Patrol agent. His family members are seeking damages.
The justices will hear the case during their next term, which starts in October, marking the second time the Supreme Court will consider the legal dispute involving the 2010 death of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca.
The justices will determine whether the family’s civil suit against Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa will be allowed to proceed. The family is seeking monetary damages.
When the court ruled on the case in 2017, the justices did not determine whether Hernandez’s family could sue for a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unjustified deadly force.
The justices threw out a ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that barred the family from suing and asked the appeals court to reconsider.
The 5th Circuit ruled again last year against the child’s family, prompting them to seek the Supreme Court's intervention.
Conservative Supreme Court justices have generally ruled against expanding the scope of civil rights protections.
The court's ruling in this case will likely affect another cross-border shooting, where Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz fatally shot Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a 16-year-old Mexican citizen. That case is also pending.
The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to not take up Hernandez and Rodriguez’s cases.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in an analysis of the cases that "imposing a damages remedy on aliens injured abroad would implicate foreign-policy considerations that are committed to the political branches," and would interfere with the White House's ability to oversee national security, and "risk undermining the government's ability to speak with one voice in international affairs."