The decision ponders deeply the difference between citing “discretion” in taking action, compared to citing “authority” to do so. The Sophists had nothing on federal judges.
The game, however, is given away at the end. A concurring opinion, by Judge John Owens, agrees that the Trump administration is barred from rescinding DACA, but not for the pettifogging reasons. According to him, Trump and his administration have exhibited “racial animus” and thus cannot take this action.
In a footnote, the other two judges on the panel write: “We do not disagree with the reasoning of Judge Owen’s concurring opinion.”
In other words, it would not matter what process the Trump administration used or what reasons it cited. According to the judges, Trump is a bigot and therefore cannot be permitted to take action another president would be permitted to take.
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