TWO GOOD SUPREME COURT CASES?!

IN ONE WEEK?!

IN 2020?!

I have no idea what the hell is going on, but hey; I'll take it.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its opinion on the legal challenges to Trump's rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama executive order that gave some 700,000 Dreamers the chance to live and work here legally. And apparently miracles do happen, because — for the second time this week! — our high court told Trump to shove it. (Only nicer and with more legalese.)

The opinion was written by none other than Chief Justice John Roberts; the occasional swing vote sided this time with the Court's four liberal justices to save Dreamers — at least for now.

Let's lawsplain this

It's important to remember that this isn't a civil rights case, it's an administrative law case. As the Court wrote:


We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. The wisdom of those decisions is none of our concern. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.

At its core, this entire case is yet another example of the Trump administration's incompetence. It's not that Trump couldn't do what he wanted to do; it's that the way he and his cronies went about it was so dumb that it's actually illegal. (We are truly lucky that this executive branch's malevolence is matched only by its incompetence.)

So here's the deal. The Administrative Procedures Act sets a bunch of requirements that executive agencies have to follow. One of those rules is that agencies have to have an articulable reason of why they're doing what they're doing. It's not a high bar. Nonetheless, DHS failed to stumble its way over it.

Essentially, the Court's opinion boiled down to one main point: The way the Trump regime attempted to rescind DACA was so bad that it was "arbitrary and capricious." (That's lawyer speak for "total bullshit.")

Or, as law professor Steve Vladeck put it,

The Roberts Court did the right thing?!

I'm as shocked as you are.

The decision was quite a surprise, and not only because of the current make-up of the Court. After oral arguments, most people — myself included — came away thinking the Court would side with Trump. (And this is one of those times where I am VERY HAPPY to say I was wrong.)

Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Alito, and Kegstand all remained exactly who we already knew they were and dissented, claiming to worry about executive overreach. (I'm curious to see how they'll feel about executive overreach when we get to the decisions on Trump's financial records, but I digress.)

Sonia Sotomayor continued her campaign to overthrow RBG as Queen of the Supreme Court, as the only justice to say that Trump's fuckery may have also violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection requirements. Noting that Trump has called Mexican immigrants "people that have lots of problems," "the bad ones," and "criminals, drug dealers, [and] rapists," the Court's first Latina justice pointed to Trump's own words and the decision's disproportionate impact on Latinx people.

Trump, naturally, took to Twitter to whine like a child, calling for "more Justices" (whatever that means?) and likening the decision to getting shot in the face.

Other racist Republicans joined suit, with Ted Cruz calling the decision "lawless" (for reasons that remain unclear) and professional bootlicker Tom Cotton saying the Chief Justice "postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability" and inviting him to resign and run for office. Cruz's fellow Texas asshole John Cornyn wept crocodile tears for the Dreamers, saying it wasn't fair to leave them in uncertainty, when we could just deport them all now.

With just five months left before the 2020 election, it would likely be impossible for Trump to try to cancel DACA again before his second term is over, so it looked like Dreamers may be safe, at least for a little while. But somewhere between yesterday's meltdown and mid-morning, Trump must have watched something on Fox News that talked about what this opinion actually did. And this morning — also via Twitter, because that's how our country runs now — Trump announced that he would be trying to deport Dreamers again.

I don't think anyone quite knows what "enhanced paperwork" Trump plans on submitting or who he is submitting it to, but whatever it is, I'm sure it will be great fun and not at all stupid and racist.

My best guess is that, once today's incoherent tweets are translated by some staffer, this means DHS needs to come up with new reasons to justify its horrifible actions. (Acting) DHS Deputy Secretary The Cooch, for his part, at least pretended to understand his boss's tweet-commands.


Remember in November

Make no mistake: The fate of Dreamers is in our hands this November.

Providing legal status and a path to citizenship is incredibly popular, even among Republicans. But that won't matter if Trump is reelected.

This decision is great and gives us some time to get our shit together. But we need to get our shit together! Dreamers don't yet have the right to stand up for themselves at the ballot box; it's up to us to stand up for them.

Here's the (surprisingly good!) opinion!


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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.
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