Court Rules that Barack Obama is Still the President of the United States
In a shocking decision on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Barack Obama is still the official President of the United States. Despite the fact that Obama served two consecutive terms and was ostensibly replaced by the duly elected and inaugurated Donald Trump, Judge Alsup determined that Obama was the only American still entitled to the full powers of the chief executive. In a surprisingly brief one-paragraph opinion, Alsup explained the constitutional rationale for his landmark decision: “Frankly, we don’t like this Trump fellow very much.”
Of course, no judge could come right out and make a ruling like this (even if we suspect it would find generous support from the New York Times Editorial Board). But in his decision to prevent the Trump administration from bringing the DACA program to an end, Alsup is essentially saying the same thing. When President Obama wrote an executive order, it took on the full weight of law. When Trump rolled back the same order, he acted beyond the scope of the presidency. Obama himself warned that his executive orders on immigration were only a temporary fix, subject to the whims of his successor. Then again, he didn’t know that his successor would be Donald Trump, a man the courts have decided is so goshdarn uncouth that he does not deserve the full constitutional powers of the office.
“DACA gave [illegal immigrant Dreamers] a more tolerable set of choices, including joining the mainstream workforce,” Alsup, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote. “Now, absent an injunction, they will slide back to the pre-DACA era and associated hardship.”
That’s all well and good, but where is the U.S. statute that says we determine law based on the hardships they put illegal immigrants through? Alsup is making a political argument that would find favor with any Democrat in the Senate, but what does any of this have to do with the matter at hand – e.g. whether or not Trump had the authority to end a program that was almost certainly illegal in the first place?
The Justice Department responded forcefully to the decision in a statement. “Today’s order doesn’t change the Department of Justice’s position on the facts: DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens,” said DOJ spokesperson Devin O’Malley. “As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DAPA.”
Judge Alsup’s decision to block Trump from immediately ending DACA does not decide the lawsuits pending against the administration; it is merely a temporary injunction – one that will likely be overturned on appeal. But it marks yet another instance in which liberal judges have taken a hacksaw to this president’s authority with specious reasoning that bears more in common with social justice activism than any law book. If the courts had acted this way with respect to Obama, we would have seen an avalanche of books and articles decrying the systematic racism of the American judiciary. But since the target is the evil, monstrous Donald Trump, the media establishment thinks it’s just fine for judges to act as puppets for the Democratic Party.
After all, he’s not even the real president.