Supremes to Decide if Foreigners Have Constitutional Rights

The Supreme Court on Tuesday is taking up a case that presents a critical question of law: Can a U.S. law enforcement officer be sued in American courts for the death of a foreigner outside the United States? For most of American history, the answer to that question has been a clear and emphatic “no.” Courts for two centuries have held that constitutional rights do not apply to foreigners with no voluntary connection to the United States. “That has been under a lot of pressure and challenge recently.” That the high court even agreed to take Hernández v. Mesa casts doubt on that long-held understanding of the law, however. “That has been under a lot of pressure and challenge recently,” Fordham University School of Law professor Andrew Kent told reporters on a conference call last week. The Supreme Court opened the door to a possible revision with a 2008 ruling that held that prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility had

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