This past week, the 5th Circuit federal appeals court dealt a blow to the Obama Administration by refusing to lift the hold on the President’s Executive Action programs Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the revised Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Here’s what the court’s ruling means and doesn’t mean:

  • The court ruling means two members of the 3-judge panel agreed that the 26 states who brought suit have “standing” to sue the President. That is, they have legal grounds to bring a lawsuit against the President.
  • The court ruling does not mean that the President did not have the right to issue executive action.
  •  The court ruling means the Government did not demonstrate to the 3-judge panel that the Administration would be “harmed” if the injunction issued by the lower court remained in place.
  •  The court ruling does not mean that the 3-judge panel ruled that the 26 states would be harmed by the Executive Action programs.
  •  With this decision, the President has the ability to either a) appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, b) ask for an “en banc” hearing at the 5th circuit level, meaning that the issue be heard before all of the judges of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, or c) do nothing. Shortly after the decision, the President’s staff informed the press he chose c) nothing.
  •  The court ruling means the court will not lift the injunction now.
  •  The court ruling means the case moves forward and the full case of whether the President violated his authority or not will be decided at a later time.
  •  The 5th Circuit Appeals Court is scheduled to hear full oral arguments on the issue July 10, 2015.