A third federal judge has ruled that President Trump is not allowed to terminate Barack Obama’s illegal DACA program. This is not the first time a judge has done this, so I’ll quote myself from one of the previous times:
This decision is outrageous. Immigration is Congress’s business. Obama overstepped his authority in issuing a blanket amnesty to a group of people under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. Trump had every right to undo that decision and return the issue to Congress, where it belongs.
. . . .
I hope that this order is swiftly appealed and reversed. It’s a naked power grab by the courts and has no basis in law.
But this decision is worse than the previous ones. Until yesterday, judges had simply ordered that Homeland Security process renewal applications from who had already applied. But this ruling is different:
But the ruling by Bates, an appointee of President George W. Bush, is far more expansive: If the government does not come up with a better explanation within 90 days, he will rescind the government memo that terminated the program and require Homeland Security to enroll new applicants, as well. Thousands could be eligible to apply.
The judge has put his absurd decision on hold for that 90-day period.
Here’s the centerpiece of the “reasoning” offered by the court:
The Court further concludes that, under the APA, DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful. Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program.
This is nonsense. Obama’s proffered justification for undermining Congressional legislation in the area of immigration was that he was making a resource allocation decision in enforcement, which is an executive function. Decisions like this mean that one president’s decision about how to allocate resources binds the hands of all future presidents, who are not allowed to make different decisions unless they can explain to a judge’s satisfaction why the previous decisions were illegal.
Even if you accept the resource allocation justification (and I don’t), it makes no sense to say that all future presidents are bound by a previous president’s resource allocation. Obama’s not the President anymore. Donald Trump is, and he’s the one who gets to decide how to allocate the resources available in his administration.
I can’t wait for the Supreme Court to overrule this and decisions like it.
P.S. Today is the day that the Supreme Court hears arguments on Trump’s travel ban. I’ll do my best to offer analysis later today or tomorrow.
P.P.S. This has nothing to do with the subject matter of this post, but if you haven’t read Kira Davis’s post on the tragic and infuriating Alfie Evans case out of the U.K., read it now. I was going to write a post about that myself, but realized that I’d never be able to write anything as effective as her piece. So instead of writing my own piece, I’m promoting hers, and recommending that everyone read it. It’s that good.