Recent decisions have demoralized his conservative base. For Trump, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
At 2017 Gorsuch swearing-in, Trump looked like the cat who ate the canary. Today we see that Trump swallowed something else instead (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“John Roberts is David Souter,” Newsweek’s conservative opinion editor, Josh Hammer, said Thursday.
The nation’s highest court — led by its putatively conservative chief, Roberts — has just stiff-armed the Trump administration’s attempt to demolish the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a signature Obama-era policy. Arguing that history repeats itself, Hammer’s reference was to President George H.W. Bush’s first appointee to the Supreme Court; the Rockefeller Republican’s lurch to the left bedeviled “values voters” for the better part of two decades. In smacking down the Department of Homeland Security, Roberts said: “The dispute before the court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. … All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.” Roberts’ archconservative colleague — Justice Clarence Thomas — called the majority’s rationale a “mystifying” cop-out. And Justice Brett Kavanaugh said “the only practical consequence… appears to be some delay.”
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