Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) blasted Chief Justice John Roberts after the court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying he ought to resign and run for political office.
“It cannot be the law that what Barack Obama has unlawfully done, no president may undo,” Cotton said in a statement. “Yet John Roberts again postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability.”
He continued: “If the Chief Justice believes his political judgment is so exquisite, I invite him to resign, travel to Iowa, and get elected. I suspect voters will find his strange views no more compelling than do the principled justices on the Court.”
Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the court in the 5-4 decision and penned the majority opinion.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” the chief justice wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
Cotton and Justice Clarence Thomas appear to agree that the decision seems to have been one made to minimize criticism from the left.
"Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision," Thomas wrote in his partial dissent. "The Court could have made clear that the solution respondents seek must come from the Legislative Branch. Instead, the majority has decided to prolong [the Department of Homeland Security's] initial overreach by providing a stopgap measure of its own."
This, Thomas argued, makes it more likely political battles will be fought through the Supreme Court rather than the political branches where they belong.
“Such timidity forsakes the Court’s duty to apply the law according to neutral principles, and the ripple effects of the majority’s error will be felt throughout our system of self-government,” he said.
Cotton argued two sets of rules cannot exist for presidents of different parties.
“There cannot be two sets of rules allowing Barack Obama to issue decrees by memo and forcing Donald Trump or other Republican presidents to jump through all kinds of legal hoops to undo those decrees,” the senator told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “What simply has to be the case is that theres one set of rules for both parties for both presidents.”