Here’s a headline which, for whatever reason, annoyed me as soon as I saw it. From ABC News: DOJ says it plans to ask Supreme Court to allow it to end DACA.
If you happen to be new here you might be confused by that and think that I’d be upset if DACA was ended. Far from it. It should have already ended. The problem here falls into a different category. But first, the details:
The Department of Justice today appealed a federal court ruling that had forced the Trump administration to again accept renewal applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
The administration, which is seeking to appeal a lower court ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, announced that later this week it intends to take the “rare step” of seeking direct review in the Supreme Court.
“It defies both law and common sense for DACA — an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals and courts invalidated the similar DAPA policy — to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
It’s not that I’m disagreeing with the procedural process playing out before our eyes. At this point, it’s probably unavoidable. And I’m not entirely disagreeing with Jeff Sessions about a single San Francisco Court bogging down the process across the entire country. The real issue here is, why is the Department of Justice (or any part of the executive branch for that matter) having to ask the Supreme Court in the first place?
In order to understand this argument, do me a favor and ask yourself two questions. First, was it legal for Barack Obama to summon DACA into existence in the first place? If your answer was no then you should want the program ended anyway. But if your answer was yes, there’s a follow-up question. Would it have been legal for Obama to end it? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second then you may as well stop reading because you’re not a serious person.
But if you answered yes to both questions – as any sane person who’s ever read anything about the government would – then how can you possibly say that Donald Trump can’t end it? The program was created for the United States government to operate, not Barack Obama specifically. And now the person with the pen and the phone is Donald Trump. Yet somehow at least one court thus far has determined that a program which they must think was legally created by executive fiat can’t be dismissed in the same fashion. This is insanity.
If we needed a program like that it should have been crafted into law by the legislature originally and approved by the President. And Congress has the chance to that very thing this week if they wish to do so and answer to the voters back home after the dust settles. Then it would be a law, and if anyone wanted to challenge it they could do so through the regular order of business.
The fact that we have to drag the courts into this question to begin with is an insult to the collective intelligence of the nation. And if we were still operating under any normal rules of order, the Supreme Court wouldn’t give the DOJ permission to end DACA. They’d end it themselves and tell Congress to craft a law for the justices to review if they really want one.