A series of setbacks and delays in the key legal challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration could irreparably damage his legacy on the issue, even if the Supreme Court ultimately upholds his authority to act, Politico reports. In the latest blow, an appeals court panel in New Orleans voted, 2-1, to deny the administration's request to proceed with Obama's plan to grant quasi-legal status and work permits to millions more illegal immigrants while litigation over those actions plays out.
Two and a half months after the Justice Department sought an emergency stay of a judge's order blocking Obama's moves, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals turned down the request. If the administration can't get the Supreme Court to lift the injunction or chooses not to try, Obama could find his long-promised immigration actions on hold until the high court rules definitively, which likely wouldn't happen until next June. By then, the presidential campaign will be in full swing and Obama's term will be winding down, prompting some immigrants to consider holding off applying until the dust clears.