I did not think we would see two good decisions this week, but I'm glad to be wrong.
The Supreme Court has ruled that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security cannot arbitrarily end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by the Obama administration.
The court did not necessarily rule in favor of the program itself, however, and only ruled that the Trump regime did not follow proper procedure and tried to end the program with no plan for what to do next.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion.
Roberts wrote for the court that the administration did not pursue the end of the program properly.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,“ Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.”
The Department of Homeland Security can try again, he wrote.
It's fairly clear where we go from here.
Another attempt to end the program and the resulting court challenges would take at least a year to work their way through a relevant court of appeals and onto the Supreme Court's docket with a decision unlikely to come until late 2021 or early 2022.
Either we replace Trump with Joe Biden in November so that never happens, or the Trump regime will make another attempt to end the program and probably succeed on their second try during his second term in office.
Ironically, Joe Biden could be the one who effectively ends the program if Democrats retake control of the White House and Senate and finally pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The DACA program never would have been necessary in the first place if Congress codified elements of it into federal law. Congress failed to pass immigration reform in 2007 and 2013 because most Republicans and a small number of Democrats (and one independent senator from Vermont) blocked it in both cases.
The dissenting justices say the program was illegal from the moment President Obama signed it, of course. Their opinion was written by Clarence Thomas.