Just as the administration was readying the new asylum standards, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that Trump is powerless to reverse Obama’s DACA policy (Delayed Action on Childhood Arrivals). You’ll be shocked, no doubt, to learn the panel’s composition: two Obama judges and one Clinton judge who was on Obama’s short list for elevation to the Supreme Court.
DACA effectively amended deportation law, a presidential usurpation of legislative power. Obama imposed it unilaterally despite several times conceding that he lacked the authority to do so. (If you don’t remember, my friend Hans von Spakovsky reminds you here.) But the judges are enshrining it nonetheless. Mind you, DACA is not even a regulation, much less a law (indeed, Congress declined to enact such a law). Obama decreed it by having his homeland-security secretary issue a policy memo.
Yet the judges would have you think it was engraved on tablets pried from the Ark of the Covenant. The court’s opinion often reads like a bad novel — as if jurisprudence has become Sonia Sotomayor’s world, and we’re just empathizing in it. Otherwise, it reads like a policy memo that borrows liberally from Obama’s policy memo. Bottom line: The Ninth Circuit says Trump did not provide a good enough explanation for changing Obama’s policy.