In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court Justices left the Trump administration with a decisive blow in its efforts to end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices as the key swing vote in the final ruling. The program which has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to work legally in the United States and avoid deportations was under assault since 2017 when President Trump announced his desire to end the program. The legal defeat against the President led him to criticize the Chief Justice and vowed to appoint conservative justices that uphold conservative beliefs. Justice Roberts wrote that the final decision was based on the fact that the government failed to adequately outline the reasons as to why the program should end. Although the Supreme court upheld the program, the administration can still provide additional reasoning as to why the program should end which is unlikely during the current political cycle.
In addition to Justice John Roberts, all four liberal justices voted in favor of the program including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. “We conclude that the acting secretary did violate” the Administrative Procedure Act and that the decision to rescind DACA “must be vacated,” Roberts wrote. In his decision, Roberts called the Trump administration’s “total rescission” of DACA “arbitrary and capricious.” In the court’s decision, Chief Justice Roberts outlined the Administration violated laws governing federal agencies since he decided to end the program.
All justices in the Majority, except Sotomayor, rejected the idea that the move to end DACA was hysteria against Latinos and was discriminatory. Roberts cited that ending the program wasn’t unconstitutional and the administration has the authority, but the way the program was ended was. Roberts in the majority opinion cited the administration could still provide additional evidence to end the program. “The appropriate recourse is, therefore, to remand to DHS so that it may reconsider the problem anew,” Roberts wrote. The conservative justices that dissented from the majority opinion included Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Elito. Some justices conquered with points made by the majority but emphasized that the issue was simply sent back to the administration. “The Court still does not resolve the question of DACA’s rescission,” Justice Smauel Alito wrote in his dissent. “Instead, it tells the Department of Homeland Security to go back and try again.”
“Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.” Justice Clarence Thomas Stated added that it “could have made clear” that a solution to the question over the status of the program must come from Congress through immigration legislation. “Instead, the majority has decided to prolong DHS’ initial overreach by providing a stopgap measure of its own,” he wrote. “In doing so, it has given the greenlight for future political battles to be fought in this Court rather than where they rightfully belong — the political branches.”