Tuesday at the Supreme Court, there were oral arguments for Hernández v. Mesa , a case centered on a lawsuit that surrounds the death of Mexican teenager Sergio Hernández at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa. In 2010, Hernández was on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border fence when Mesa, who was on the U.S. side, shot Hernández.
NPR’s Nina Totenberg filed a report about the case and why it was being heard by the Supreme Court in the first place.
In addition, The Huffington Post did a deeper dive into the case here.
The following document is the complete of the oral arguments from Tuesday:
The crux of the case is this (see SCOTUS blog): can the lawsuit from Hernández’s parents considered by U.S. courts? One of the other issues behind the case “centers on whether the Fourth Amendment’s bar on unjustified deadly force applies to a scenario like this one, when the victim of the shooting is outside the United States, and how courts should make that determination,” according to SCOTUS blog.
SCOTUS blog also published a very detailed account of the Tuesday oral arguments. It also closed its account with this:
Normally, if the court deadlocks 4-4, it leaves the lower court’s ruling (here, in favor of Mesa and against the family) in place. But with confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the president’s nominee to fill the vacancy created by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, now scheduled for mid-March, a 4-4 deadlock could prompt the justices to order new arguments if Gorsuch is confirmed. If so, we could be back here in the fall or winter to hear the newly reconstituted court debate these issues all over again.
Next week, the Court will hear oral arguments for another immigration-related case: Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, “which stems from the government’s effort to remove a lawful permanent resident for a ‘sex crime.'”