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With DACA, Put the Federal Judiciary Back in Its Constitutional Box

As the Supreme Court -- the only constitutionally mandated federal court under Article III -- considers whether to fast-track consideration of a lower-court ruling regarding the so-called "Dreamers," it might be wise for every federal judge in this country except nine to remember that their jobs, and their courts, could vanish tomorrow, and there's not a damn thing either they or the Supes could do it about.

We've been over this before. The idea that the three branches of government are, in practical terms, "co-equal" is rubbish -- as a glance at Article III would make clear to everyone except a lawyer. That was also clear to the Founders, by the way, as per Alexander Hamilton's remark that the courts would be the "least dangerous" branch of the new federal government, lacking “the power of the executive branch and the political passions of the legislature.” As Hamilton wrote in The Federalist 78:

Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

Tell that to the Trump administration, which practically from the moment it took office a year ago has seen its lawful authority to conduct American immigration policy come under fire from rogue federal judges, concerning both the Muslim travel ban and, now, the DACA mess, instigated by Barack Obama via an executive order, and since rescinded by the current president, most recently by two judges who have determined that Trump has no right to overturn this crucial part of Obama's "legacy," because butthurt.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday discussed in private how to handle President Donald Trump's appeal of a judge's decision blocking his plan to end protections for young illegal immigrants dubbed "Dreamers," and the nine justices could announce as early as Tuesday whether they will take up the case.

Trump's administration is appealing San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup's Jan. 9 ruling that halted the president's order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects from deportation young adults who came into country illegally as children and gives them work permits.

U.S. lawmakers have been working to resolve the fate of the hundreds of thousands of young adults, mostly Hispanics, protected by the program, but legislation that would have done so failed in the Senate on Thursday. DACA was implemented in 2012 by Democratic former President Barack Obama. If the justices agree to hear the appeal by the Republican president, they likely would not rule on the case until late June.