Last month, a three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency stay on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which would protect more than four million undocumented immigrants being deported.
Though the emergency stay was denied, the general appeal concerning the broader legal issues has moved forward within the Fifth Circuit and oral arguments are scheduled for this Friday, July 10th. Members of the three-judge panel have been announced. Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod and Judge Jerry Smith, both Republican appointees, will be returning to the panel after ruling against the emergency stay last month. Judges Elrod and Smith will be joined by a third judge, Democratic appointee Carolyn Dineen King.
The courts re- selection of Judges Elrod and Smith comes as a surprise. Many observers expected that a different panel of three judges would be chosen to decide the broader legal issues. This selection suggests Obama likely will not have much luck winning the case at the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit is likely to rule against the administration, which will raise the chance that this case could get pushed to the Supreme Court, perhaps during the heat of the 2016 presidential race.