A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that President Barack Obama’s most recent executive actions on immigration should remain on hold as a legal fight plays out over his decision to grant quasi-legal status and work permits to millions more illegal immigrants.Judge Jerry Smith was nominated to the court by President Ronald Reagan.
The court rejected the administration’s request to lift an order blocking Obama from expanding a program for illegal immigrants who entered the country as children and creating a new program for illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens.
The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals voted, 2-1, to deny an emergency stay of an injunction U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen imposed on Obama’s plan earlier this year at the request of Texas and 25 other states challenging the president’s moves.
Writing for the majority, Judge Jerry Smith said the Justice Department had not met the legal standards required to block the lower court ruling.
In an opinion joined by Judge Jennifer Elrod, Smith sounded sympathetic to claims that Obama’s actions exceeded the authority given to the president and the executive branch by Congress.
[Obama loses bid to move forward with immigration plan, by Adam Lerner and Josh Gerstein, Politico, May 26, 2015]
Judge Jennifer Elrod was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush.
The dissenting Judge who supported Obama, Stephen Higginson, was nominated by Obama himself.