Top US Court Affirms Guard's Immunity In Cross-border Shooting
Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Feb, 2020 ) :The US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a Mexican family the right to sue an American border patrol agent who killed their teenage son in a cross-border shooting nearly a decade ago, confirming his immunity from prosecution.
The court's conservative majority prevailed over its liberal justices in a 5-4 decision with sensitive diplomatic ramifications.
That court confirmed the border guard's immunity from prosecution. However, its decision was contradicted by another court ruling in a similar case, thereby forcing the Supreme Court to take up the issue.
President Donald Trump's administration, which has taken a hard line on immigration, asked the Supreme Court to guarantee the border guard's immunity, arguing that to do otherwise could compromise an important national security function.
The court's majority agreed, saying "a cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications." It argued that these types of cases should be resolved diplomatically, noting that "Congress has been notably hesitant to create claims based on allegedly tortious conduct abroad." "Congress's decision not to provide a judicial remedy does not compel us to step into its shoes," it asserted.
The court's four liberal justices disagreed, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing the dissent.
"Neither US foreign policy nor national security is in fact endangered by the litigation," she wrote, adding that "Hernandez's location at the precise moment the bullet landed should not matter one whit." The American Civil Liberties Union deplored the ruling.
"The gravity of this ruling could not be clearer given the Trump administration's militarized rhetoric and policies targeting people at the border," said the ACLU's Lee Gelernt, who argued the cross-border shooting case.