Court offers immigration programs hope of success

Wooden gavel from the court on white backgroundA court statement declaring a lack of allegiance to another court decision means that the Obama administration’s case for the president’s executive orders on immigration reform could have a better chance of success, despite a number of recent setbacks.

The administration was dealt a severe blow by the decision by two Fifth Circuit judges to uphold the block on the executive action on US immigration reform ordered by Texas judge Andrew Hanen back in February, says Think Progress; however, the same court issued a statement that made it clear that the decisions made by Judge Jerry Smith and Judge Jennifer Elrod do not bind the court to the same response in the future.

The attorneys on the case were sent a letter by the Fifth Circuit last Thursday to make them aware of “addressing pertinent portions of the majority and dissenting opinions issued by” the judges in question. The court also referenced a 1997 decision in relation to Mattern v Eastman Kodak Co, which held that “a panel hearing the merits of an appeal may review a motions panel ruling, and overturn it where necessary” and that when the issue relates to jurisdiction the merits panel has to be particularly vigilant.

Political blog ThinkProgress, which said that the appeals ruling gave “an extraordinarily high burden” to the Justice Department in its fight against Hanen’s conclusion, now says that there is a much greater chance of actually winning the argument due to the court making it clear that the decision is not binding and could be overruled in the future.