Supreme Court limits excessive force claims against Border Patrol agents

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that a Border Patrol agent in Washington state cannot be personally sued in federal court for damages after a private citizen brought claims of illegal retaliation and excessive force.Video above: Migrants seek asylum in U.S. despite obstaclesThe decision continues a recent trend of the high court cutting back on the ability of individuals to sue law enforcement officers who violate their constitutional rights when there is no specific law authorizing such a claim to go forward.The ruling expands federal officers’ immunity from private lawsuits and reverses a lower court opinion that allowed the lawsuit to go forward. Lawyers for the Border Patrol agent argued that the threat of liability would interfere with his job duties.The court said 9-0 that the Border Patrol agent could not face a lawsuit under a First Amendment claim of retaliation. The court also said that the agent could not face a lawsuit under the Fourth Amendment for an alleged excessive use of force, with the court’s three liberal justices dissenting.

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that a Border Patrol agent in Washington state cannot be personally sued in federal court for damages after a private citizen brought claims of illegal retaliation and excessive force.

Video above: Migrants seek asylum in U.S. despite obstacles

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The decision continues a recent trend of the high court cutting back on the ability of individuals to sue law enforcement officers who violate their constitutional rights when there is no specific law authorizing such a claim to go forward.

The ruling expands federal officers’ immunity from private lawsuits and reverses a lower court opinion that allowed the lawsuit to go forward. Lawyers for the Border Patrol agent argued that the threat of liability would interfere with his job duties.

The court said 9-0 that the Border Patrol agent could not face a lawsuit under a First Amendment claim of retaliation. The court also said that the agent could not face a lawsuit under the Fourth Amendment for an alleged excessive use of force, with the court’s three liberal justices dissenting.

Contributed by local news sources

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