Through the blistering storm of violence and rhetoric that the Trump administration has subjected the United States and world to, they’ve aimed to enact a policy agenda — but it’s not working. A federal appeals court has, this week, upheld a previously issued nationwide injunction keeping the administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA.
Last year, the Trump administration sought to end DACA, which has provided protection for large numbers of undocumented immigrants who arrived here as children. That plan — like plenty of others they’ve offered — quickly ran into a roadblock with a ruling from a California federal judge blocking the program’s closure. That decision is what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this week, continuing to set the stage for a battle over the program’s future at the U.S. Supreme Court. Ironically enough, that same court has ruled against the administration before to the point of Trump suggesting it should be broken up.
The court asserted, in their reasoning for upholding the injunction:
‘We conclude that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA — at least as justified on this record — is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law.’
Before the appeals court even handed down their decision, the Trump administration’s Justice Department filed a petition asking for the Supreme Court to take the case. That’s not normal judicial practice — but considering they filed that petition right before the recently concluded midterm elections, an intention to rile up the Republican base in their candidates’ favor seems pretty clear. Considering that timing, the argument from the Ninth Circuit Court that the plantiffs at hand — including former Obama administration official Janet Napolitano in her capacity as President of the University of California — are likely to prove Trump’s efforts to end DACA as political seems all the more fitting.
The nation’s highest court is itself now packed with Trump appointees. Trump got his first Supreme Court placement soon after taking office, appointing Neil Gorsuch for the seat Antonin Scalia vacated upon his death that Republicans had forced to remain open until the next presidency.
The following year, following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, Trump named Brett Kavanaugh to the bench. Although his confirmation ended up marked by credible allegations of sexual assault, he made it onto the court.
The outcome of the case remains uncertain. With just Gorsuch on board, the Supreme Court already allowed a restricted version of the president’s infamous Muslim ban to go into effect after it had been struck down by a number of lower courts.
That ban effort, like the push to end DACA, figured in a continually forming broader picture of the Trump administration’s antagonism towards immigrants. In many cases, there’s absolutely no data to support their claims that, say, immigrants harbor higher crime rates than native-born Americans. They continue on anyway, though, even as their arguments fall apart, revealing just how fiercely committed they are to their ideology in the process.
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