Robert Barnes writes in the Washington Post:
“The gun was fired in the United States. The bullet stopped 60 feet away in Mexico — tragically, in the head of a 15-year-old boy named Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.
Border patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. pulled the trigger that day six years ago in the wide concrete culvert that separates El Paso from Juarez, Mexico. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Constitution gives Hernández’s parents the right to sue Mesa in American courts for killing their son.
The case comes amid a time of increasing tension and controversy over how this country polices the daily churn along the border, where essential international commerce takes place alongside narcotics trafficking and human smuggling.
Courts have struggled to deal with the national security and foreign policy implications of the case, and the Supreme Court’s precedents.
U.S. Border Patrol agent shoots Mexican teenager near border Play Video0:17
In 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot and killed 15-year-old Mexican national Sergio Hernandez while Hernandez was playing in a culvert separating Juarez, Mexico, from El Paso, Tex. A witness recorded the incident on their cell phone. (Outreach Strategists, LLC)
If Hernández had been killed inside the United States, then the case could proceed. Or if he had been a U.S. citizen, it would not have mattered that Mesa was on one side of the border and he was on the other.
But the courts so far in Hernández’s case have said the Constitution does not reach across the border — even 60 feet — to give rights to those without a previous connection to the United States.”
The case is Hernandez v. Mesa, and either way the Court decides, it’s likely to play an important role in the effort to enhance U.S. border enforcement.