When President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end DACA last year, he did so because the Justice Department advised that they were in no position to defend the administration against a lawsuit that Texas and other states had been threatening to file. Having already successfully blocked the implementation of Barack Obama’s later amnesty order – DAPA – these states wielded the fiery sword of legal truth. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Trump at the time that he should simply end the DACA program and let Congress take it up in the form of legislation.
Well. That didn’t work.
Because Democrats were unwilling to budge even an inch in the name of these illegal minors – no wall, no end to chain migration, and no end to the diversity visa lottery – Congress reached the end of its session without the DACA compromise they were looking for. Democrats, of course, had more power in these negotiations than their numbers would seemingly indicate. Not only did broad-based amnesty have some support in the softer ranks of the GOP, but there were (and are) plenty of Republicans who don’t care a whit about building Trump’s wall. But even that was not the strongest card in the Democrat playbook.
No, the Democrats drew their greatest strength from the liberal activist judiciary, where judges first blocked Trump from ending DACA and then, later, told the administration that they must CONTINUE accepting new applications for the program. These were shocking examples of liberal judges defying the rule of law, but for now, their decisions are final. DACA remains in effect.
And now that lawsuit from Texas is coming.
On Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his state and six others would file suit against the Trump administration to challenge the “unconstitutional Obama-Era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”
In a statement, Paxton said that this lawsuit was less about immigration and more about maintaining the boundaries of the executive branch.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Paxton said. “Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization. Left intact, DACA sets a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to ignore the laws enacted by Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.”
Of course, that wasn’t the precedent set at all. Indeed, the precedent only (apparently) gave a DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT that sweeping authority. His Republican successor not only lacks that authority but also the authority to undo what Obama did with his fabled “pen and phone.”
Can the courts now force the Justice Department to defend an executive program that they, themselves, do not believe in?
God knows, in the era of liberal #Resistance, anything is possible.