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Supreme Court Hands President Trump a Major Defeat, Rules Against Administration on DACA

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Trump administrations attempt to eliminate DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act and asked the administration to do a better job explaining why the policy should be overturned. Via Fox News: The court ruled that the administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal members to author the opinion, the court said the move to eliminate the program that grants privileges to children who entered the U.S. illegally as minors were “arbitrary and capricious,” although they did not rule on the merits of the program itself.

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“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. ‘The wisdom’ of those decisions ‘is none of our concern,’” Roberts wrote in his opinion. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”

Roberts wrote that the administration “failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance,” as well as the impact the decision would have on DACA recipients who have relied on the program.

“That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner,” Roberts wrote. “The appropriate recourse is, therefore, to remand to DHS so that it may consider the problem anew.”

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissent, saying: “These cases could—and should—have ended with a determination that his legal conclusion was correct. Instead, the majority today concludes that DHS was required to do far more.”

He continued: “Without grounding its position in either the APA or precedent, the majority declares that DHS was required to overlook DACA’s obvious legal deficiencies and provide additional policy reasons and justifications before restoring the rule of law. This holding is incorrect, and it will hamstring all future agency attempts to undo actions that exceed statutory authority. I would therefore reverse the judgments below and remand with instructions to dissolve the nationwide injunctions.”

What seems clear is that the Supreme Court made a political decision with Roberts at the center.

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