Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not a boost, a way out

I don't get it. Why would the fact that a U.S. District Judge in Texas ruled against Obama's executive action on immigration give a "big boost" to Congressional Republicans in their showdown with Congressional Democrats over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security? Republicans have been blocking the DHS funding bill by insisting that the bill include a provision that overturns the President's executive action. Democrats have not budged in their opposition to such a provision and the President has threatened to veto a bill that blocks his executive action.

The District Court ruling doesn't address the funding showdown in Congress at all. On the contrary, it might convince Republicans that holding DHS funding hostage isn't necessary anymore if this court ruling means that federal courts will overturn the executive order on their own. (They are wrong if they are convinced this is a harbinger of how the rest of the federal judiciary will rule. The District Court's ruling does not actually rule on the legality of the executive order and was issued by a Judge who has a long running beef with the administration's immigration policies). If anything, I would think this ruling would be a face-saving way for Republicans to back down from the funding crisis they created. I'm not sure if they will decide to take that opportunity, but I think they could if they were looking for a way out.