Sixteen left-wing activist attorneys general have filed one of the dumbest lawsuits in recent memory.
Attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, and DC have filed a lawsuit to stop Donald Trump’s plan to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented under executive order by Barack Obama. Trump said the action he took this week gives Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution for children who entered the U.S. illegally.
The states in the lawsuit contend that “[r]escinding DACA will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of the States’ residents, injure State-run colleges and universities, upset the States’ workplaces, damage the States’ economies, hurt State-based companies, and disrupt the States’ statutory and regulatory interests.”
But they conveniently forget that since DACA was implemented by executive order, it can be revoked by executive order, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Even President Obama himself called DACA “a temporary stop-gap measure” and “not a permanent fix,” seemingly realizing that he was on legally shaky ground. After all, a president is not supposed to be able to override federal law through an executive order.
Without even considering the merits of DACA itself, the lawsuit is plainly ridiculous. It contends that a rule implemented by executive order, which was intended to be temporary, must be considered permanent law and cannot be reversed by executive order. If these attorneys general want it to be permanent law, they should lobby Congress, whose job it is to make permanent federal law. Attorneys general cannot stop a president from using executive power to end a rule that was enacted through executive power.
The argument made by this lawsuit is totally absurd, and surely the attorneys general themselves know it. Any judge with one iota of integrity ought to throw it out. However, I’m afraid these are different times — leftist attorneys general don’t care much about defending the law; they care about scoring political points. Judges no longer care about upholding the law but instead legislate from the bench.
For the record, I am personally conflicted myself about the whole “dreamer” issue. On the one hand, these kids did enter the U.S. illegally, and the law is the law. But on the other hand, their parents are to blame; the kids had no part of the decision, and many of them have spent the majority of their lives in the US. It’s a tough situation.
That’s why our elected representatives in Congress should resolve it in public through vigorous debate — not via judges and lawyers in closed courtrooms. DACA and the “dreamer” issue never belonged at the executive branch level. Obama’s 2012 order was illegal. It was always Congress’s prerogative to resolve this. And Trump’s decision restores that proper order. Congress can and should deliberate and resolve this issue, not presidents or attorneys general or judges.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore