The outcome surprised no one. However, proponents of the reforms were hoping the decision would arrive in time for the administration to petition the Supreme Court to decide the case as early as this spring. If the appeals court’s ruling is overturned, that would allow the reforms to be implemented before the president leaves office in Jan. 2017. Otherwise, the policies face an uncertain future in the hands of the next president.
President Barack Obama’s pledge to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies now hinges on how fast, if at all, the Supreme Court considers the main legal challenge to those reforms.
On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled that the administration could not move forward with a plan to provide as many as five million undocumented immigrants with work permits and protection from deportation.
Reform supporters say they are optimistic, but legal experts say that the timeline may now be too tight for the Supreme Court to rule on the case during its current term — unless the justices take the unusual step of expediting its review. Read more…