Hernandez v. Mesa

589 U.S. ___, 140 S.Ct. 735 (2020)

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Hernandez v. Mesa

United States Supreme Court
589 U.S. ___, 140 S.Ct. 735 (2020)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD
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Facts

Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year-old boy, was playing with his friends in a culvert straddling the border between the United States and Mexico. Hernandez was running back and forth over the border when he was spotted by Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa (defendant). Allegedly believing Hernandez was attempting an illegal border crossing, Mesa shot Hernandez in the back twice. The shots hit and killed Hernandez while Hernandez was on the Mexican side of the border. The United States declined to prosecute Mesa because he acted in accordance with his training and refused Mexico’s request for extradition. Hernandez’s parents (plaintiffs) sued Mesa in Texas district court seeking civil damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, alleging that Mesa violated Hernandez’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The district court dismissed the parents’ claim. The Fifth Circuit affirmed and declined to apply Bivens, holding that the Hernandezes’ claim did not fall within the types of cases previously granted federal judicial remedies under Bivens. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)

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