Supreme Court ruling prohibits many border lawsuits
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A decision by the United States Supreme Court on a case on the Canadian border could have a profound impact on the Southern Border.
The case, Egbert v. Boule, decided by a 6-3 conservative majority, will limit the ability to sue federal agents for damages.
“We’ll no longer be able to file suit against government actors, Border Patrol and other federal law enforcement agencies for violations of people’s civil rights and constitutional rights,” said Tucson Attorney and civil rights litigator Paul Gattone. “And the injuries they receive as a violation of those rights.”
It has always been difficult to hold Customs and Border Patrol accountable but the ruling makes it nearly impossible now Gattone said.
“Basically they’ll have free reign to violate people’s constitutional rights whether its excessive force or someone killed by border patrol or federal agents,” he said.
Under the decision, the Supreme Court says the decisions should be left to Congress and not the federal courts reversing a decision which was made by the court in 1971.
“Saying that it belongs in Congress is just saying nothing is going to happen,” Gattone said. “The chances I think of Congress at least this Congress being able to pass a law that would allow for suing of government actors is pretty negligible.”
In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the abandoning the 1971 “lead to many who will suffer serious constitutional violations at the hands of federal agents. I respectfully dissent.”
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