Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, March 5, 2018
A federal judge ruled Monday that President Trump’s phaseout of the Obama-era DACA program is legal, adding heft to the administration’s defense but doing little to solve the ongoing court quagmire.
The ruling does not overturn two other federal courts, who had previously blocked the phaseout, which was supposed to take effect Monday. But it does offer a needed boost as the Justice Department appeals those other two rulings.
Judge Roger W. Titus, a Bush appointee to the bench in Maryland, said the judges in California and New York who blocked the phaseout attempted to substitute their own judgments for that of the Homeland Security Department, crossing constitutional lines in order to strike at Mr. Trump’s policies.
But the program was always legally questionable, and Mr. Trump last September, facing threats of lawsuits from Texas and other states, announced his phaseout, with a final deadline of March 5.
“As disheartening or inappropriate as the president’s occasionally disparaging remarks may be, they are not relevant to the larger issues governing the DACA rescission. The DACA Rescission Memo is clear as to its purpose and reasoning, and its decision is rationally supported by the administrative record,” the judge wrote.
Judge Titus said he didn’t like the result of his own ruling, but he said judges need to butt out of politics and stick to the law.