The benefits of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments are accumulating. Trump was the president of law and order. And the Supreme Court, with three of his appointees sitting on it, is also strongly pro-law and order.
In 2014, a Border Patrol agent is claimed to have assaulted the proprietor of an inn on our northern border.
In March, the Virginian Pilot reported:
The Smuggler’s Inn, a bed-and-breakfast on the U.S.-Canada border that officials say is a magnet for illegal border crossings, was the setting of a case heard Wednesday at the Supreme Court.
Some online reviewers praise the property for its scenic views, while others say its cleanliness leaves much to be desired.
Officials have said the Blaine, Washington, inn is an easy place for people, drugs and money to cross the border. Its backyard — where flagpoles fly the U.S. and Canadian flags — is just steps from Canada’s “Zero” Avenue and there’s no fence.
The inn’s owner allegedly often leaves his back door unlocked for border crossers, and rooms are named after famous smugglers and other notorious individuals including gangster Al Capone. A black SUV used by the inn has the personalized license plate “SMUGLER.”
Officials say cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and opiates have been trafficked through the property. And the property’s owner Robert Boule has pleaded guilty to charges in Canada of illegally helping people cross the border into the country.
But Boule has also served as an informant for the U.S. government…
In 2014, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Erik Egbert learned from Boule that a guest arriving at the inn that day was from Turkey. Egbert considered that suspicious and when the guest arrived, he went to investigate. Boule asked him to leave, but Egbert allegedly shoved him and pushed him to the ground, injuring Boule’s back. After determining the guest was legally in the country, Egbert left.
Boule complained to Egbert’s supervisors about the rough treatment, and Boule says Egbert retaliated by making reports about him and his business to various state and federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service. But no agency found any wrongdoing.
Boule sued, saying Egbert had violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force and his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him. A federal trial court ruled for Egbert, but an appeals court reversed the decision and Egbert appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court rendered a verdict against Boule on Wednesday.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
In a time when lawmakers and lower courts have been arguing about when law enforcement may be sued, the dispute comes as little surprise. The courts have permitted similar suits against federal officers under limited conditions.
As part of the 6-3 majority, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas argued that it is generally the duty of Congress, not the courts, to allow citizens to sue the federal government for excessive force violations in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Read more…