The judge who barred the Trump administration from turning back the Obama-era DACA program last week has some legal scholars concerned that the ruling could damage the notion of an impartial bench.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Judge William Alsup, the federal judge from the Northern District of California, used a local case before issuing the nationwide stop.
“How can a single judge decide a question for the whole country?” Samuel Bray, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked the paper.
Bray wrote a recent article where he spoke out against federal judges issuing nationwide injunctions, the paper reported.
“Increasingly, legal scholars are concerned about the way national injunctions are transforming the relationship between the courts and the political branches,” he said.
Alsup wrote that it is “plausible” that President Trump ended the program for racial reasons, Politico reported.
“Circumstantial evidence of intent, including statements by a decisionmaker, may be considered in evaluating whether government action was motivated by a discriminatory purpose,” Alsup wrote on Friday. “These statements were not about the rescission (which came later) but they still have relevance to show racial animus against people south of our border.”
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. The program includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Wednesday that the ruling was “outrageous, especially in light of the president’s successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day.”
The Times’ report said the U.S. Supreme Court might address the issue of these injunctions.
Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston, told the paper, “The justices don’t like the district courts changing national policy overnight.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report