Appeals Court Deals Latest Blow to Obama’s Executive Amnesty; Networks Fail to Cover

On Tuesday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC neglected to mention news that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled earlier in the day against President Obama’s executive amnesty and denied another request that the injunction on the plan should be lifted.

While the networks ignored this story, the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report with Bret Baier led its Tuesday show with a full report on the court’s 2-1 decision against the Obama administration. 

Host Bret Baier stated that the announcement was “another major setback tonight for President Obama’s immigration reform agenda” with court’s refusal “to lift a temporary hold on the President’s plan to shield as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.”

Correspondent Shannon Bream followed with more details on the ruling, noting that:

[T]he Fifth Circuit held that the administration cannot move forward with executive actions that would not only block millions who are in the U.S. illegally from being deported, but could also grant them access to things like driver’s licenses and other government benefits. 

Reminding viewers of how it was “late last year” that the President “announced a number of executive actions regarding immigration,” Bream cited how legal proceedings began in earnest when 26 states banded together to sue in response. 

Next, Bream read portions of the majority opinion from Judge Jerry Smith (who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan): 

In today's opinion refusing that stay, Judge Jerry Smith said the state challenging the executive action showed that allowing those actions to proceed would, quote, “substantially injure them” adding, quote, “a stay would enable...beneficiaries to apply for driver's licenses and other benefits and it would be difficult for the states to retract those benefits or recoup their costs even if they won on the merits.” 

In the conclusion of her report, Bream explained that any “direct appeal for an emergency stay would go first to Justice Antonin Scalia” since “[h]e oversees the Fifth Circuit” and “could decide alone or refer the matter to the entire Supreme Court.” As for the “underlying case on the substance of the President's executive actions,” Bream added how that “is also continuing.”

When U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ruled against the Obama administration’s initial request for an injunction late on April 7, all three networks similarly punted this story the following day while FNC’s Special Report provided a news brief on the story.

As for when Hanen halted the President’s plan on February 16 just shy of its implementation, all three network evening newscasts on February 17 covered the decision and complained that the move “dash[ed] American dreams for millions of families under the threat of deportation” in what was supposed “to be a historic day for millions of illegal immigrants.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on May 26 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
May 26, 2015
6:00 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Appeals Court Rules Against Obama Immigration Exec Action]

BRET BAIER: This is a Fox News alert. I’m Bret Baier in Washington. Another major setback tonight for President Obama's immigration reform agenda. A federal appeals court is refusing to lift a temporary hold on the President’s plan to shield as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. Correspondent Shannon Bream is here with details. Good evening, Shannon.

SHANNON BREAM: Hello, Bret. In a 2-to-1 decision this afternoon, the Fifth Circuit held that the administration cannot move forward with executive actions that would not only block millions who are in the U.S. illegally from being deported, but could also grant them access to things like driver’s licenses and other government benefits. Late last year, President Obama announced a number of executives actions regarding immigration. Well, 26 states joined together to sue and a federal judge blocked the measures just before they could take effect. The administration has been fighting to stay that ruling ever since. In today's opinion refusing that stay, Judge Jerry Smith said the state challenging the executive action showed that allowing those actions to proceed would, quote, “substantially injure them” adding, quote, “a stay would enable...beneficiaries to apply for driver's licenses and other benefits and it would be difficult for the states to retract those benefits or recoup their costs even if they won on the merits.” Though Texas Governor Republican Greg Abbott called the ruling a, quote, “victory for the Constitution,” a White House spokesperson said the judge has misinterpreted both the facts and the law, adding this: “The president's actions were designed to bring greater accountability to the broken immigration system, grow the economy and keep our communities safe. They are squarely within the bounds of his authority and they are the right thing to do for the country.” It is unclear at this hour whether the administration will appeal the ruling directly to the Supreme Court. If so, former DOJ official Tom Dupree says they're going to have an uphill battle. 

FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THOMAS DUPREE JR: They're have to show the Supreme Court that this is sufficiently urgent, that it requires the Supreme Court to step in right now to ensure that this program goes into effect and I don't see how they can make that showing because what there asking for, in fact, is a dramatic change to the status quo. 

BREAM: A direct appeal for an emergency stay would go first to Justice Antonin Scalia, simply based on geography. He oversees the Fifth Circuit. He could decide alone or refer the matter to the entire Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the underlying case on the substance of the President's executive actions is also continuing.

NB Daily Judiciary Immigration Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Special Report Video Government & Press President Barack Obama President Obama Bret Baier Shannon Bream Barack Obama
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