Hernandez v. Mesa

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: February 25, 2020
  • Case #: 17–1678
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, GORSUCH, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which GORSUCH, J., joined. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined.
  • Full Text Opinion

A Bivens remedy does not exist for Fourth or Fifth Amendment claims in a cross-border shooting context.

Petitioners sued for damages in the United States after Respondent shot and killed their son, who had fled to the Mexican side of the Mexico-United States border. In part, Petitioners sought to recover damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U. S. 388 (1971), alleging that Respondent violated their son’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The district court granted Respondents motion to dismiss, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal twice. Initially, the Fifth Circuit rejected Petitioner’s Fifth Amendment claim based on qualified immunity and rejected Petitioner’s Fourth Amendment claim because Petitioner’s son lacked significant connection to the United States as a Mexican citizen. On remand, the Fifth Circuit refused to recognize a Bivens claim for a cross-border shooting in light of Supreme Court precedent. On review, the Supreme Court affirmed and declined to create a Bivens remedy for Petitioners’ claims against a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in a cross-border shooting. The Court reasoned that Petitioners’ claims arose in a new context because they involved cross-border claims. The Court further opined that respect for the separation of powers in relation to the political branches’ control over foreign policy and national security counseled against an extension of Bivens. AFFIRMED.

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