Bush's waterboarding rules inspiring Trump to enact all the federal policies he can't pass in Congress: report
President Donald Trump listens during a phone conversation with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 27, 2018. (AFP / Mandel Ngan)

The Supreme Court voted to block former President Barack Obama's immigration plan in 2016, but President Donald Trump isn't letting that stop him from passing laws with his own executive orders.


According to Axios, Trump's team is being inspired by John Yoo, the lawyer who authored former President George W. Bush's waterboarding strategy after 9/11. In a National Review editorial, Yoo wrote that Trump should take the Supreme Court's DACA decision "makes it easy for presidents to violate the law."

"Suppose President Donald Trump decided to create a nationwide right to carry guns openly. He could declare that he would not enforce federal firearms laws and that a new "Trump permit" would free any holder of state and local gun-control restrictions," Yoo wrote. "Even if Trump knew that his scheme lacked legal authority, he could get away with it for the length of his presidency. And, moreover, even if courts declared the permit illegal, his successor would have to keep enforcing the program for another year or two."

In fact, if Trump wrote all of them as executive orders, those orders would be broken with a series of new executive orders unmaking them, even if they were making their way through the court system. According to a Quartz report on executive orders, Sarah Kessler explained, "The president can revoke, modify, or supersede any executive order: Presidents often undo the executive orders of their predecessors, but they have rarely retracted or overridden their own executive orders."

According to sources from Axios, Trump has brought up the article to his staff, looking for ways to pass all of the laws he wants without having to deal with a Democratic Congress and a Republican Senate up for reelection in November.

Trump already indicated last week that he would be rolling out a huge immigration executive order that would "take care of DACA."

"Over the next few weeks, I'll be signing an immigration bill, a lot of people don't know about it, you have breaking news, but I'm signing an immigration bill," he said.

According to Axios, two administration officials said that the president has been interested in the ideas Yoo presented, but the White House wouldn't rely on it as the means to save the president.

"You have to act in good faith, and think that what you're doing is good and legal," one official told Axios.

"It's very much in dispute as to whether or not the president has that much control over immigration through executive order," said another official.

At the same time, taking such action could destroy Senate Republicans desperately trying to hold onto the seats in November because they've tied themselves so close to Trump.

Read the full report at Axios.