WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday scolded his fellow Supreme Court Justices over its controversial ruling on DACA.
In a 5-4 decision earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled to block President Donald Trump’s request to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama era program which prevents young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from being deported for a set period of time.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion, said the court took issue with the Trump administration’s reasoning for eliminating the program and ultimately determined that the Department of Homeland Security did not follow proper procedure in its decision to end the program and that the department did not have the authority to do so.
In his dissent, Roberts strongly disagreed.
“Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” Thomas wrote. “The dispute before the Court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.”
Thomas then slammed his colleagues for giving the “green light for future political battles to be fought in this Court rather than where they rightfully belong — the political branches.”
“The majority does not even attempt to explain why a court has the authority to scrutinize an agency’s policy reasons for rescinding an unlawful program under the arbitrary and capricious microscope. The decision to countermand an unlawful agency action is clearly reasonable. So long as the agency’s determination of illegality is sound, our review should be at an end,” Thomas wrote, adding, “The majority’s opinion supports the idea that a president is “not only permitted, but required, to continue administering unlawful programs that it inherited from a previous administration.”