Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton ripped the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to block the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Cotton reserved harsh criticism for Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, arguing that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it attempted to end the program. (RELATED: Chief Justice Roberts Has Begun To Make Some Conservatives Nervous)
“It cannot be the law that what Barack Obama has unlawfully done, no president may undo. Yet John Roberts again postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability,” Cotton wrote in a press release Thursday. “If the Chief Justice believes his political judgment is so exquisite, I invite him to resign, travel to Iowa, and get elected. I suspect voters will find his strange views no more compelling than do the principled justices on the Court.”
It cannot be the law that what Barack Obama has unlawfully done, no president may undo. https://t.co/xJsBbeCMEj
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) June 18, 2020
Roberts argued in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration failed to “provide a reasoned explanation” for its decision to end the program.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner. The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may consider the problem anew.”
Justice’s Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch also accused the court of being politically-motivated in its decision, while Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a separate dissent.
“Under the auspices of today’s decision, administrations can bind their successors by unlawfully adopting significant legal changes through Executive Branch agency memoranda.” Thomas wrote. “Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.”