Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Judge Dolly Gee rejected the Trump administration's efforts to amend the Flores settlement to allow or continued detention of minors. Her scathing conclusion:
"It is apparent that Defendants’ Application is a cynical attempt, on an ex parte basis, to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate. The parties voluntarily agreed to the terms of the Flores Agreement more than two decades ago. The Court did not force the parties into the agreement nor did it draft the contractual language. Its role is merely to interpret and enforce the clear and unambiguous language to which the parties agreed, applying well-established principles of law. Regardless, what is certain is that the children who are the beneficiaries of the Flores Agreement’s protections and who are now in Defendants’ custody are blameless. They are subject to the decisions made by adults over whom they have no control. In implementing the Agreement, their best interests should be paramount."
As the Los Angeles Times recounts, the Justice Department had asked that the court to modify the Flores settlement so that the administration could carry out President Trump’s June 20 executive order to detain children with their parents.