The Supreme Court issued a 5–4 ruling on Thursday blocking the White House’s effort to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Soon after, however, President Donald Trump made clear that he’s not backing down.
According to Breitbart, Trump made clear in a tweet Thursday afternoon that he wants “a legal solution on DACA, not a political one” — and he confirmed that he’ll keep fighting until he gets one.
The president wrote:
As President of the United States, I am asking for a legal solution on DACA, not a political one, consistent with the rule of law. The Supreme Court is not willing to give us one, so now we have to start this process all over again.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2020
Starting all over again
In their majority opinion Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts, along with the court’s four liberal justices, declared that a 2017 action by Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was insufficient to overturn the 2012 executive action from former President Barack Obama that created DACA, because it had violated aspects of the Administrative Procedures Act.
Notably, the court did not address any of the actual merits of the case or the program itself, according to Fox News; rather, the majority based its ruling on procedures used by DHS and the White House to shoot the program down, and effectively said that Trump would have to jump through a few more hoops before quashing the program.
However, a dissent authored by Justice Clarence Thomas complained that the majority’s running had set a precedent that White House administrations could “bind their successors by unlawfully adopting significant legal changes through Executive Branch agency memoranda,” as Breitbart reported. Thomas explained:
Even if the agency lacked authority to effectuate the changes, the changes cannot be undone by the same agency in a successor administration unless the successor provides sufficient policy justifications to the satisfaction of this Court.
In other words, the majority erroneously holds that the agency is not only permitted, but required, to continue administering unlawful programs that it inherited from a previous administration.
Justice Thomas also argued that the majority opinion had been nothing more than “an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” according to Breitbart. He lamented that it wasn’t made clear that the proper place for decisions about DACA — from the start — was in the legislative branch.
Congress failed, so Trump will act
Echoing Thomas’ sentiment, President Trump complained in a tweet Thursday that the SCOTUS “DACA decision” was “a highly political one, and seemingly not based on the law,” but said it “gives the President of the United States far more power than EVER anticipated,” as Breitbart reported.
“Nevertheless, I will only act in the best interests of the United States of America!” Trump vowed.
By the next day, the president confirmed that his administration is moving forward with its plans on DACA per the Supreme Court’s latest order.
…ruling & request of yesterday. I have wanted to take care of DACA recipients better than the Do Nothing Democrats, but for two years they refused to negotiate – They have abandoned DACA. Based on the decision the Dems can’t make DACA citizens. They gained nothing! @DHSgov
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020