Supreme Court blocks Trump’s attempt to dismantle DACA

This just in: by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to leave in place Obama’s DACA (“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”) plan, protecting those immigrants known as “Dreamers” from being deported. The Trump administration had signaled that it was going to dismantle DACA. (There are about 700,000 of the Dreamers., who are surely breathing a sigh of relief.) According to the New York Times report below, the majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Roberts, who joined the other four liberals (Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Breyer), with Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch voting on Trump’s side. (Last November the paper predicted that the Court would allow Trump to dismantle DACA.)

This is one of several recent votes for progressive policies, including Obamacare and extension of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to gays and transgender people, and in all cases Roberts helped swing the tide. And this despite several justices, including Roberts, having been nominated by Republican Presidents. (Roberts was appointed by George W. Bush.)

Trump is probably fuming now, as he’s just been rebuked twice by the highest court in the land, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Good for Roberts et al., and let’s hope Trump doesn’t get another term in which he could replace, say, Ginsburg with a conservative dinosaur.

You can read the full court opinion here.

The tweet below, however, implies that the Trump administration might be able to dismantle DACA by following the “correct procedures.” Fortunately, if I’m correct and Trump loses in November, there won’t be time.


  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This guy’s tweet is funny:

    • Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed! I’ve heard it said that Justices on the political extremes tend to move toward the center over time, but that sure wasn’t true of Scalia or of Thomas!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        There’s been distinct leftward drifts by a long line of Republican SCOTUS appointees (with the two exceptions you mention, plus Samuel Alito) going back to Eisenhower’s appointment of Earl Warren as chief justice.

        This is why Republicans are so fixated on SCOTUS appointments and why GOP activists insist nowadays that all new justices have both an established conservative voting track record on a lower appellate bench and the Good Housekeeping seal of approval from right-wing groups like the Federalist Society, before being considered for nomination.

        • eric
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Following the “it’s hard to convince a man he’s wrong if his paycheck depends on him being right” adage, I wonder how many conservative judges that are aiming high in their career are conservative in part because they see it as a good career move. Then, once they get a lifetime appointment and their job no longer depends on it, they feel more free to express ideas that they held but were afraid to state publicly.

          Gay rights is IMO a good example. There are likely many communities where to even voice support for gay rights doesn’t get you elected to a state supreme court and doesn’t get your Congresscritter’s support for nomination to some appointed office. But at the same time, it’s so mainstream now it’s easy to imagine there are many many conservative judges who accept it as not only the current law but as a law that should be upheld in the future.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            There’s something about being on the court of last resort that encourages the scales to fall from conservative justices’ eyes.

    • Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was wrong in the other thread when I said Roberts only seemed to drift left because the Court as a whole was moving right. Maybe Roberts is growing into the job and leaving some partisan conformity behind.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Big loss for Trump on this one. Too bad and hope for many more.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Many more – if time permits.

  3. Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “conservative dinosaur”…that brought a much needed smile to my face.

  4. W.T. Effingham
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    The tRumps’ shyster “organizations” and teams of enabling lawyers and ” accountants ” and their webs of ” charitable institutions ” could and should be facing some defeats in places like the SDNY.

  5. uommibatto
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    After the LGBTQ ruling, the Borowitz Report described how Mitch McConnell “gently” explained to Trump that he couldn’t fire Justice Roberts.

    I wonder what Mitch is telling Trump today…

    Larry Smith

    • rickflick
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Mitch (or somebody else) could be telling him he can’t create a Supremer court to overrule these rulings.

    • eric
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s amusing.

      Though I’m sure that if Gorsuch and Roberts keep drifting to the left, the GOP will talk more about impeaching judges who don’t rule the way they want. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they start grumbling about the need to change lifetime appointments.

      • Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Davids Frum in his most recent book, Trumpocalypse, detaisl the way the GOP is trying to skew the system in their favor and disenfranchise those that disagree with them.

        In WI, 45% of the population (GOPer, mainly) elected 60% of the state assembly. Can you say Gerrymander? Can you so disenfranchisement?

        And that wasn’t enough for them. Because Tony Evers got elected governor, they are floating the idea of an electoral college type system for governor in the state: To further weigh votes in their favor.

        It’s despicable.

        And they are bold as brass about it.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Bold as brass is right. The GOP has no real goals to further American advancement and societal improvement. They are simply in the business of demolishing government. At one time they were a party of ideas. Now they are simply in it for the power.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            The GOP is in the business of clinging to political power at any cost — voter suppression, gerrymandering, the ruthless wielding of parliamentary procedure, exploitation of the undemocratic nature of the US senate and electoral college. Falling in line behind an incompetent authoritarian autocrat whom they KNOW is unfit for office.

            Anything, but anything, to stay in power, despite the Republican Party’s ever-shrinking support in the US populace.

  6. Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    More good sense from CJ Roberts.

    I think his eye is firmly on the judgment of history.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      As a 2016 candidate, Trump loosed his scorn on Roberts over the latter’s vote to uphold Obamacare. Since then, the two have mixed it up a few times over Trump’s unprecedented public attacks on the federal judiciary (including Trump’s threat to “break-up” the Ninth Circuit, as though it were the 1919 Blacksox and he, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis).

      And now, these latest decisions. I don’t think this president has any suction at all with our Republican Chief Justice.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thank Madison for Article III!

    • EdwardM
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Madison? Shit, he’s another witch who needs to be burnt.

      Also your praise of this dead while male slave owner is violence to black people. You are creating an unsafe space here.

      You’re next, Kukec.

      • nay
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Edward M – I don’t know who or what you are and I don’t care. I am a woman of color who admires the Founding Fathers and am grateful every day that they set up a country where I was lucky to be born and can be free. What have you done to compare with that?

        • Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Glad to hear it.

          But he’s just sarcastically expressing the Zeitgeist we are seeing in the news every day these days.

        • Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          I’m essentially certain it’s sarcasm.

        • Adam M.
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry, it was a friendly joke, I think. 🙂

          • EdwardM
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            I hates emojis. I hates them.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, I hate emojis, too, and, time was, I couldn’t imagine doing anything as fruity as marking-up my prose with smiley faces.

              I’ve changed my tune as you may have noticed, realizing that some people — including some well-meaning, sincere, bright people — come equipped without the usual irony/sarcasm/humor receptors. Better to be fruity and safe, I always say, than misunderstood and sorry.

              Hell, on occasion I’ve slapped two smiley faces in a single comment, trying to be doubly sure it wouldn’t taken the wrong way — the emoji equivalent of a program of double-condom prophylaxis. 🙂

        • EdwardM
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          nay – i think it telling that you could not tell if that was a joke. It says a lot about the nature of public discourse these days. We have a very, very deep hole to climb out of (one we dug ourselves) and, honestly, I do not think we can.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        “You’re next, Kukec.”

        First they came for the dissolute …

  8. tomh
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Trump has his usual measured response on Twitter:

    “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!

    Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”

    “No one likes you” now trending on Twitter.

  9. Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Wahoo!! Much better than I had hoped. Now the rest of us just have to vote tRump out of office (as though we need any more reasons than the excessive number we have).

    • Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Right on sister! 🙂

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Nail is hit on the head.

  10. Mike Anderson
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    SCOTUS concludes administration did not follow correct procedures when seeking to dismantle the DACA program.

    In other words, an unforced error on Donald’s part. Love it!

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but also this:
      /Users/simonhayward/Desktop/Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 1.32.48 PM.png

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Well that worked out badly! Lets try the old cut and paste text!

        Rick Hasen
        Right. The reason this decision is a gift for Trump is that had the Court upheld the rescission of DACA, Trump would own a very unpopular policy of deporting dreamers and would be hard pressed to pass new immigration legislation.

        • Mike Anderson
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          On the other hand, it takes a big bargaining chip away from Trump. I don’t think Trump really wanted to end DACA, I think he just wanted it as a pawn in a “deal”. In the past he’s offered DACA concession in trade for wall money.

          • Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            Trump likes to play both sides of issues like DACA. If he’s talking to his fellow xenophobes/supporters, he’s against DACA and wants it to be repealed with extra shade thrown Obama’s way. If he’s in front of a more generous crowd, he’s ok with DACA or is just seeking “clarification”. His tweets today on the DACA decision claim that it makes him more powerful and that he wants to seek “a legal solution on DACA, not a political one, consistent with the rule of law.” But he also is tweeting that he’s going to pick new Supreme Court Justices, implying that those that he’s appointed that have voted against his wishes were mistakes.

        • tomh
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Every loss is a win? Trying to spin this as a plus for Trump requires contorting logic beyond all reason.

          • Simon Hayward
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            Probably my pessimistic side getting the better of me! As long as he isn’t reelected it’s a moot point, and I guess if he is there will be other terrors to worry about

        • Posted June 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          On the other hand, he is now hard pressed to deport any Dreamers. I think they would probably regard that as a win.

  11. Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Trump was stumped on this decision like he has on several others: he had no good reason for his actions. The real reason, that Obama did it, is not going to fly either.

  12. Steve Lawrence
    Posted June 20, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    While liking the result, I’m troubled: one Prez’ executive order is immune from another’s? What’s the standard? If it were a law (by Congress): is there a “rational basis?” If so, law stands. Same with exec order? Did SCOTUS say T’s exec order lacked rational basis? or was it deficient for another reason, what and why? I heard it was “mean” (true IMO). But overruling should require more than disagreement if we are a nation of laws. Does this ruling set a good precedent?

    • tomh
      Posted June 20, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      The decision didn’t say he couldn’t do it by executive order. They said the administration was incompetent and didn’t follow correct procedures. So they sent it back to the DHS and said they could try again.

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