White House Still Undecided On Emergency Appeal For Amnesty Injunction

Conn Carroll
Posted: Feb 18, 2015 3:45 PM
White House Still Undecided On Emergency Appeal For Amnesty Injunction

Despite reportedly expecting United Stated District Court Judge Andrew Hanen to rule against President Obama's Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program for weeks, the White House still has no idea how it will handle the injunction Hanen issued late Monday.

Asked Wednesday whether or not the Department of Justice will seek an emergency stay from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that would allow Obama's amnesty program to go forward, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said no decision had been made.

"Our legal strategy going forward is something that is going to be determined by the Department of Justice," Earnest said, "and they have indicated that in the next couple of days they will have more information about how we will pursue that strategy, but that strategy will certainly include an appeal of this ruling because we don't believe that it is a fair or accurate reading of the law." 

Obama's hesitance in seeking an emergency stay is well founded. Not only were almost two-thirds of all the judges in the 5th Circuit appointed by Republican presidents (15 of 23), but appeals courts rarely overturn most temporary injunctions, instead deferring to the judgment of the trial court. ABC News reported later Tuesday that the DOJ was in fact leaning towards not seeking an emergency stay.

Without such a stay, it is almost certain that Obama's DAPA amnesty program will never be implemented. First, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit would have to rule on the injunction, then an en banc panel of the 5th Circuit, and then the Supreme Court would have to elect to hear the case, hear the case, and then issue an opinion. 

At the very earliest, this would delay implementation of Obama's DAPA program until June or July of 2016, and that is assuming everything else goes right for Obama.