President Obama’s executive amnesty is now in the hands of the courts.

Earlier this week we reported that a federal court had sided with a 26 state coalition against Obama’s plans for sweeping immigration reform. The court issued a temporary injunctive order barring the President from implementing his immigration executive action—and almost immediately upon hearing the news, we set up a 5th Circuit watch, waiting for the Administration to file a stay on the ruling.

It never happened.

More from the AP:

“We’re not going to disregard this federal court ruling,” Obama said, but he added that administration officials would continue to prepare to roll out the program. “I think the law is on our side and history is on our side,” he said.

On Capitol Hill, the Homeland Security Department stood 10 days away from losing funding, but Hanen’s ruling made a compromise on that dispute look more distant than ever. Republicans are blocking funding for the agency unless Democrats agree to cancel Obama’s immigration orders, and they seized on the ruling as validation for their position.

“Congress must reassert its waning power. We must re-establish the constitutional principle that the people’s representatives control the purse,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading immigration hardliner.

Yet Senate Democrats, who have been blocking a House-passed bill that would fund the department but also undo Obama’s actions, said the ruling from Hanen did nothing to budge them.

“Democrats remain united in our belief that funding for the Department of Homeland Security should not be used as a ransom by Republicans, period,” said Chuck Schumer of New York.

A contrite Administration? Maybe. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said flat out that all plans to grant documentation to illegal aliens have been suspended. Per USA Today, “Until that ruling is overturned on appeal, ‘we recognize we must comply with it,’ he said.”

Attorney General Eric Holder has said that this is one decision, by one judge, and he’s right. Still, the fact that the Administration has temporarily jettisoned a plan it was so proud of just weeks ago tells me that that one decision by one judge has them more worried than they care to admit. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said they were prepared for it, which is an admission that shows the weakness of their hand when challenged by actual legal standards.

So, what’s next? The Administration’s best chances may be through the courts, but an appeal could take years. In the mean time, don’t count on this giving Congress a free pass to shove through a clean DHS funding bill:

“Don’t count on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to play dealmaker in the fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. The Kentucky Republican is under intense pressure from conservatives to hold the line against President Obama’s immigration actions, and he shows no signs of backing down. … McConnell could have seized on the injunction to push conservatives toward funding the DHS while the court fight plays out. The fact that he didn’t, Senate Democrats say, is a sign that McConnell won’t be coming to the negotiating table.”

The best case scenario for Obama is that this drags out. It’ll give the Administration even more time to tout the success of the plan as a humanitarian issue, and Democrats in Congress more time to complain to the press about an obstructionist Republican majority.

It’s politics as usual, but for once, Republicans may just have the upper hand. This one will take patience, though.


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