President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that should the U.S. Supreme Court rule that the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is legal and can’t be dismantled by executive order, then he will have inherited a “scary” amount of power.
“If the Supreme Court rules that President Obama was wrong, which they should because… by the way, if he was right, then I’ve been given tremendous power,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Can you imagine me having that power? Wouldn’t that be scary?”
“If President Obama is allowed to do what he did on DACA, then I’m allowed to do whatever I want to do on things that, you know, probably a president… doesn’t have the right to do,” he added.
You may recall that Obama created DACA, which essentially allowed young persons brought into the U.S. illegally to remain indefinitely, out of thin air — via executive order — after repeatedly claiming in the months before his 2012 reelection that presidents don’t have the authority to arbitrarily change statutory law.
For his part, POTUS Trump attempted to end the DACA program also by executive order, but three federal judges have said he can’t because somehow ending the program the way it was created isn’t legal or constitutional. Now, the administration has asked SCOTUS to weigh in.
When what Obama did was flagrantly unconstitutional in the first place.
Still, the president is right to predict that the Executive Branch would inherit a vast amount of new power — authorities that presidents were never supposed to have — if SCOTUS rules to uphold the lower courts and claim, astonishingly, that the DACA executive order was legal and proper, though it changed statutory law without new legislation from Congress.
And it would ‘scary,’ for sure, if a true authoritarian were ever to win the Oval Office.
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