Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the news of the Supreme Court’s DACA decision in a floor speech moments ago.
“I cried tears of joy a few minutes ago when I heard the decision of the Supreme Court on DACA,” Schumer said. “These wonderful DACA kids and their families have a huge burden lifted off their shoulders.”
The Obama-era program allows nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to live and work in the US without fear of deportation.
Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a blistering dissent to the DACA decision, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
“This holding is incorrect, and it will hamstring all future agency attempts to undo actions that exceed statutory authority,” Thomas wrote.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts did not rule out the possibility of rescinding DACA in his majority opinion, instead arguing that the Trump administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act in its rollout of the policy.
In his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts made clear that the court was not making a determination about whether DACA and its recission were sound policies.
Instead, Roberts argued in the majority opinion that the department of homeland security had violated the Administrative Procedure Act in its rollout of the recission.
“We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Roberts wrote. “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.”
That process argument could theoretically allow the Trump administration to try to enact the policy again with an eye toward these issues, but of course the president is up for reelection in November, so there may not be time for him to do so.
The Daca decision marks a loss for Trump, who attempted to rescind the Obama-era immigration program in 2017, kicking off a lengthy legal battle.
The 5-4 decision comes three days after a majority of the court’s justices ruled that existing federal law protected gay and transgender workers from job discrimination, which was another loss for the Trump administration.
Conservatives were quick to bemoan the decision, with Republican senator Josh Hawley calling this “the most disappointing week at [the Supreme Court] in years.”
That comment was particularly noteworthy because Hawley clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the majority in both decisions.
Supreme Court blocks Trump from canceling Daca
The Supreme Court has ruled to block Trump from canceling Daca, the Obama-era program that offered undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children the chance to legally reside in the US.
Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberals made up the majority, with Roberts writing the opinion.
Schiff signals openness to calling Bolton to testify
House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff has signaled he is condering calling former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about the explosive allegations in his new book.
In a lengthy statement, Schiff criticized Bolton for not disclosing the information he had during the House impeachment inquiry. Bolton refused to testify before the House, and the Senate chose to not call any additional witnesesses during Trump’s impeachment trial.
“John Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot,” Schiff said. “During impeachment proceedings in the House, members of John Bolton’s staff were asked to testify about President Trump’s abuse of power. And they did. They had a lot to lose, and showed real courage when their country needed it.”
Despite that criticism, Schiff said Bolton’s allegations were “very serious” and deserved to be examined as “part of a persistent pattern by Trump of abusing his position and misusing the powers of the U.S. government to seek personal and political benefits from foreign governments.”
“We will continue to hold Trump accountable, and work to expose his abuses and corruption. In the coming days, we will be consulting with the Speaker and other chairs on next steps,” Schiff said.
If Schiff and House speaker Nancy Pelosi decide to call Bolton to testify, it could create a sensational spectacle of a former top administration official publicly rebuking the president as voters decide whether to reelect him.
“History will judge those Republicans who sought to protect Trump, harshly. It will judge those who refused to testify when others came forward, harshly. And it will judge Donald Trump harshest of them all.”
Trump’s claim that John Bolton’s new book is “a compilation of lies and made up stories” appears to be at odds with his administration’s assertion that it includes classified information.
The administration has sued to block the book’s publication, claiming it represents a threat to national security. White House officials have also accused Bolton of backing out of a necessary review process for the book.
Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, has said the lawsuit “is nothing more than the latest in a long-running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the president”.
Trump: Bolton’s book is ‘pure fiction’
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
Trump has just sent a new tweet lashing out against his former national security adviser, John Bolton, claiming his upcoming book is “pure fiction.”
“Bolton’s book, which is getting terrible reviews, is a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad,” Trump said. “Many of the ridiculous statements he attributes to me were never made, pure fiction. Just trying to get even for firing him like the sick puppy he is!”
In an excerpt of the book published by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Bolton said that Trump had nearly begged Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win reelection. He also accused Trump of pushing to halt a number of criminal investigations as “personal favors” to foreign dictators.
Bolton was ousted from his role as national security adviser in September and had a very public spat with Trump over whether he resigned or was fired.
Donald Trump’s first tweet of the day certainly has an air of shouting at the television about it. He’s kicked off about Joe Biden’s ratings during the handling of the Swine Flu H1N1 crisis.
It is possibly a response to the new Gallup and West Health survey I mentioned earlier which found that 57% of US adults rated the national response to Covid-19 from Trump’s administration as only fair or poor.
As a reminder, in the US, between April 2009 and April 2010, when Joe Biden was vice president, the CDC estimates there were 60.8 million cases of swine flu, and nearly 12,500 deaths.
So far in 2020, with the novel coronavirus, the US is reported to have far fewer cases, at 2.1m, but with many more deaths. The Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker puts that deaths figure currently at over 117,000.
Trump has also just retweeted someone calling John Bolton “a notoriously mendacious enemy of all living beings on the planet” which does make you question Trump’s initial decision to hire him to work at the White House.
It is fair to say that John Bolton has not been mincing his words about his former boss Donald Trump as he carries out a round of interviews and media appearances to promote his new book.
I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job. There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than ‘What’s good for Donald Trump’s re-election’
That quote comes from a promo clip issued this morning of an interview scheduled to be aired by ABC News on Sunday.
In quotes given out before the programme goes out, Bolton also criticises Trump over his trip to meet Kim Jong Un in North Korea. As Bolton puts it:
I think he was so focused on the re-election that longer term considerations fell by the wayside. So, if he thought he could get a photo opportunity with Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone in Korea, there was considerable emphasis on the photo opportunity and the press reaction to it and little or no focus on what such meetings did for the bargaining positions of the United States.
The book isn’t out until later in the month, and Trump has already dismissed it as being untrue, but you can have a skim through eight of the most stunning revelations here: