Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University has written an op-ed in The Hill defending President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind his predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Turley writes that while he shares Democrats’ concern for the fate of 800,000 illegal aliens brought to the country as children, it was entirely appropriate for Trump to give Congress a chance to make law to address the problem — and it was wrong for President Barack Obama to circumvent the legislature.
Democrats who complain about Trump’s decision, he said, are hypocrites who devalue the Constitution:
Some of us criticized the action as a circumvention of the legislative branch that undermined our system of the separation of powers. But because they liked the result, Democratic members yielded their institutional power to the White House and helped create an unchecked presidency. With Trump using the same authority to pursue his own policies, Democratic leaders now want to radically expand the powers of the judiciary to block an uber presidency of their own making. They have become constitutional short sellers who dump core principles as soon as they raise political costs.
In the market, short sellers will sell a security in the belief that its value is declining, allowing them to buy it back later at a lower price for a profit. Constitutional short selling follows the same logic, but instead of undermining a financial asset, they undermine a constitutional system. Democrats want to oppose Trump, willing to yield power to the courts, as they did for the last eight years with regard to the executive branch. The constitutional short seller hopes that by dumping inconvenient principles, they will be able later to regain control of the system. The problem is that, unlike the markets, the constitutional system is not particularly elastic. Such changes can fundamentally alter our government.
Where Obama used this authority to circumvent Congress on DACA, Trump is using it to return DACA to Congress. After failing to pass this program earlier, members may now be able to succeed by reaching a compromise with their Republican colleagues. Regardless of the outcome, however, the importance of re-establishing an equal legislative branch is paramount for our system and our future.
Read Turley’s full article here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.