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Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.

The 5-4 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

In penning the opinion, Roberts once again sided with the liberals on the bench in a momentous dispute that will infuriate judicial conservatives who are still bitter that he once provided the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare.

The opinion is the second time in a week when the Supreme Court — bolstered with two of President Donald Trump’s nominees — has ruled against the Trump administration. Monday, the court said LGBTQ Americans are protected under the Civil Rights Act.

The ruling emphasizes that the administration failed to provide an adequate reason to justify ending the DACA program.

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “‘The wisdom’ of those decisions ‘is none of our concern.’ We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”

It is a blow to the Trump administration, as immigration reform has been a lynchpin of Trump’s agenda. It means that for now, participants in the program can continue to renew membership in the program that offers them work authorization and temporary protection from deportation.

President Donald Trump appeared to blast the DACA decision and an opinion issued earlier this week that extended anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers.

“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives,” he tweeted.

Trump continued to attack the decision in a series of tweets later Thursday, claiming it didn’t seem to be “based on the law” and that it “tell you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court.”

Former President Barack Obama also weighed in on the decision on Twitter Thursday morning, writing of DACA recipients: “Today, I’m happy for them, their families, and all of us.”

“We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals,” Obama wrote, noting the program was created eight years ago this week.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also celebrated the ruling, calling it a “victory” and again saying that if elected, he will work “immediately” on legislation that would make the program “permanent.”

“The joy of today’s victory does not erase the difficult road ahead,” Biden said in a statement. “We know that much work remains to be done.”

And California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a coalition of attorneys general in defense of DACA before the Supreme Court last year, told CNN Thursday evening the ruling was “an indictment of the way the Trump administration does business.”

“It said that everyone must follow the rule of law,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett of the ruling. “The White House and the occupant don’t have a right to be above the law.”

The Trump administration could move, again, to try to rescind the program, but this time the administration will have to provide a better explanation grounded in policy for its reason for termination.

“Today’s decision allows Dreamers to breathe a temporary sigh of relief,” said Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr of Cornell Law School. “The administration may try to terminate the DACA program with a better justification, but that will take months or years. In the meantime, Congress should enact permanent relief for Dreamers to end this drama once and for all.”

Luz Chavez, a DACA recipient based in Maryland, was at the steps of the Supreme Court when the decision came down Thursday.

“Right now, at the end of the day, our community won, right? We’ve been pushing for this for a long time. Immigrant youth are the reason why DACA was announced and created,” Chavez told CNN. “It’s exhilarating.”

By Ariane de Vogue, Devan Cole and Jamie Ehrlich, CNN