A judge in a federal district court in Texas has ruled that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is invalid. The judge is Andrew Hanen. In 2015, he banned President Obama from carrying out DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and his decision was finally upheld by the Supreme Court, 4-4.
Now, in one of those nationwide court mandates that everyone hates except when it favors one on an important matter, Hanen has ordered DACA. The opinion is here.
The ruling nullifies the original 2012 DACA memo, but only in part. The vacatur is temporarily applied to current DACA recipients. The ruling also allows DHS to continue accepting new applicants, but the agency is “prohibited from approving any new DACA application and granting assistant status.”
Blackman considers the key question of what happens next. He hopes the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Hanen’s ruling because he closely adheres to that court’s decision in the DAPA case.
At the Supreme Court level, the outcome is less certain. Blackman believes that Chief Justice Roberts will join the three Liberal justices in voting to grant a stay on all three appeals. That makes four votes.
Blackman hopes that Judge Gorsuch will join Judges Thomas and Alito in voting to defend the district court’s resources. That will leave the case in the hands of Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett.
Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone has a clear idea of what these two Trump appointees will do in this case. But Blackman’s predictions that Kavanaugh will try to find a way to split the difference and write a “handshake crowd” seem plausible.