Joseph Arpaio lost a fight on Friday in his battle over immigration with the Obama administration.

The ruling on Friday set down by the U.S. Court of Appeals was unanimous that Arpaio, whose Maricopa County, Arizona department has aggressively attempted to deport undocumented immigrants, did not have a standing to sue.

The sheriff complained that the deferred deportation program set up by the White House that allows as many as 5 million immigrants to remain in the U.S. would create a magnet that would attract other undocumented immigrants from Mexico to enter illegally into his county. He added that those who crossed into his county illegally would stay and commit crimes.

However, Judge Nina Pillard, who wrote the opinion for a panel of three judges and is a controversial appointee by Obama approved by the U.S. Senate, only after a rule change, said the contentions made by Arpaio were unduly speculative.

The White House released a statement that said the court had recognized correctly that the U.S. Constitution does not allow for federal courts to hear lawsuits that are just baseless speculation.

The ruling on Friday likely will not do much to advance the program by Obama. A judge in Texas ruled in another separate case that Obama’s program of deferred action was unconstitutional. The program is on hold while an appeal is made by the White House.

The Department of Justice has battled with Sheriff Arpaio in a federal court for 3 years, alleging his deputies target Hispanic drivers illegally, conducted raids at the workplace that unduly targeted Hispanics and punished inmates in the county jails when they spoke Spanish.

Signaling that the DOJ interest remains high in Arpaio, the federal agency joined in on a private suit versus Arpaio on some of the same types of issues.

Larry Klayman a Washington based lawyer who represents Arpaio said he would be appealing the court’s decision on Friday to the Supreme Court.

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