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Appellate court calls for immigration injunction to stay in place

President Obama's historic plan to prevent the deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants encountered yet another legal obstacle earlier this week thanks to the holding of a federal appeals court.

To recap, the Attorneys General of 26 states asked a federal judge in Texas to issue a preliminary injunction shutting down the President's immigration actions back in February on the grounds that he had exceeded his executive authority.

The federal judge ultimately granted the preliminary injunction and later refused a request by the Department of Justice to lift it while the matter was pursued on appeal, holding that no irreparable harm would result.

The DOJ subsequently filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, requesting that it not only lift the injunction, but allow the immigration programs to take effect during the pendency of the litigation.

In recent developments, a three-judge panel denied the DOJ's request for an emergency stay or, at the very least, an order limiting the effect of the injunction to the 26 states challenging the President's authority.

Specifically, in a 2-1 ruling, the court dismissed claims by the DOJ that the AG's of the 26 states lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit and that irreparable harm would result if the President's immigration initiatives were not permitted to be rolled out.

"The president's actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy and keep our communities safe. They are squarely within the bounds of his authority, and they are the right thing to do for the country," said a White House spokesperson in response to the ruling.

It should be noted, however, that legal experts are indicating that this panel's refusal of the DOJ's request for an emergency stay doesn't necessarily forecast a defeat on the larger issue of the agency's appeal of the injunction. Indeed, a different panel could side with the government and lift the injunction.

It will be fascinating to see what transpires in the coming months concerning the President's plans to limit deportation. Oral arguments are currently scheduled for the week of July 6.

Stay tuned for updates ...

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