On the other side of the looking glass, where the left proffers beliefs and policies that make no sense to the rational mind, we have the issue of the Dreamers. It makes no sense to call President Trump a serial power abuser and then criticize him for not using an Executive Order to extend the old Obama DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) policy on illegal residents who were brought here as children – the Dreamers, as we call them.
First of all, what was the Obama policy? Well, for the first part of his presidency, President Obama drew upon his knowledge as a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago to declare that it was beyond the authority of a President to act unilaterally (Executive Order) to legalize the status of the Dreamers. It was the sole authority and responsibility of the United States Congress to legislate that issue. End of subject.
Weeeeell … not the end of the subject. With Congress permanently pre-disposed to do nothing on the issue, Obama finally issued what he, himself, had seen as an illegal Executive Order – a prima facie abuse-of-power. This sent the matter to the United States Supreme Court, which is constitutionally empowered to determine abuses-of-power.
Obama’s Order was set to run out in 2014. Democrats and the political left (repeating myself, of course) wanted President Trump to extend Obama’s questionable Executive Order. Although Trump expressed his own policy to keep the Dreamers safely in America – at least those who were not criminals – he echoed Obama in saying that the President does not have such power – AND that Obama’s Order was currently being reviewed by the federal courts.
While no decision has been rendered, most constitutional scholars believe the high court will strike down Obama’s Executive Order as being unconstitutional – an abuse-of-power. That would not be the first time Obama lost an abuse-of-power issue in court. When he attempted to make recess appointments when the senate was only on break, the Supreme Court declared Obama had abused his power.
In most cases, abuse-of-power is only a matter of opinion – not crime – to be settled by the Supreme Court. The fact that the Democrats have gone to impeachment to oust a President for abusing his power – rather than taking the matter to the courts – is, in a sense, an abuse of Congressional power. Alleged abuse of presidential power is NOT a “high crime or misdemeanor,” but a matter of opinion. Using impeachment to address the issue could be considered an abuse of congressional power – a political gambit to weaponize the impeachment process.
But I digress. So, what about the Dreamers?
In September of 2017, I wrote a commentary entitled, “DACA proves Trump a constitutionalist.” I made two points – Obama did little to protect the long-term security of the Dreamers because his actions had a shelf-life, could be overturned by the courts or reversed by a future President. Obama did not give Dreamers a secure future, but a politically advantageous short-term reprieve. Obama did not solve anything. He just kicked the can down the road into the next administration.
Obama also provoked the court case that will determine if his Executive Order – or any presidential Executive Order – is a constitutionally legal means to address the issue. That means that even as the ball was thrown to Trump, there was already a case in the courts that would possibly – and maybe probably – strike down Obama’s and any other presidential Executive Order of this type.
That issue is coming to a head and the nine justices will soon issue their decision. That is why we are seeing demonstrators outside the Court building demanding that they declare Executive Orders to be an appropriate means of addressing the issue. If they truly understood the issue – and were not being flimflammed by the Democrats and a news media that propagates rather than educates — Dreamers would be demonstrating on Capitol Hill to get a permanent legislative solution. Their problem is with Congress, not Trump.
It is no small irony that Democrats and the press beat up on Trump for abusing power in the Ukrainian case – as THEY determine it – and at the same breath beat up on Trump for NOT potentially abusing power in the DACA case. In the former case, Democrats refuse to take the matter to the courts and in the latter case, they want to ignore the courts. Democrats are arguably abusing congressional power by attempting to nullify the role of the federal courts as the third branch in the constitutional balance of powers.
What is indisputable is that the Congress has the authority and responsibility for creating legislation that will secure a safe permanent future for Dreamers – and for all other illegal aliens, for that matter – but they would rather attack the President for their own failure.
So, there ‘tis.