CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (June 26, 2017) Today, the United States Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and held that a fifteen-year-old Mexican national, standing on Mexican soil and shot by a border patrol agent standing in the United States, may indeed have Fourth Amendment constitutional protections. Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, an unarmed teenager, was playing with his friends in a concrete culvert near the U.S./Mexico border when he was shot and killed on June 7, 2010 by U.S. Border Patrol agent, Jesus Mesa, Jr.
Robert C. Hilliard, representing the teenager's family, argued the case before the United States Supreme Court on February 21, 2017, contending that the protections of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment may apply to noncitizens like Hernandez who, while standing in their own country, are the victims of excessive force by a U.S. border patrol agent standing in the U.S.
The United States Supreme Court vacated the opinion of Fifth Circuit and sent the case back to consider issues the Fifth Circuit did not address regarding Hernandez's right to sue.
Mr. Hilliard stated:
"America was conceived under the protection and power of a Constitution unique to the world. The Court today reminded this country and all other nations that our Constitution means what it says. The rule of law governs. Power given to law enforcement by the Constitution will be checked and reviewed, and, if excessive force is used, there will be constitutional consequences.
We look forward to going back and arguing to the Fifth Circuit that Fourth Amendment protections apply to Sergio and others like him.
Border patrol agents must abide by the very Constitution they took an oath to uphold. When they draw their weapons and aim across our border, they now know that this is not a free killing zone, where lawlessness is unchecked and shootings are not investigated. This decision affirms that the right to life is the single most fundamental human right and protecting it is paramount in our society.
The seemingly unprecedented level of daily misbehavior by our country's executive branch requires heightened judicial vigilance and, when necessary, an unequivocally clear and strong response from our Courts. Today, the United States Supreme Court checked the actions and power of the executive branch. By doing so, hopefully they have made our nation stronger in its ever-evolving battle against injustice. Our leaders must be subject to the power of unassailable constitutional truths, as these are the bulwark of our democracy and the genesis of our freedom."
Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP (HMG) specializes in mass torts, personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP has been successfully representing clients in the United States and Mexico since 1986. Bob Hilliard obtained the Largest Verdict in the country in 2012 and the #1 verdict in Texas, he currently is co-lead counsel in the single biggest litigation in US history, GM's ignition switch defect litigation, currently pending in the Southern District of New York.
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