Court appearance waived for top officials over Obama immigration actions

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is shown in this undated video still image.

(CNN)A federal judge backed down on Tuesday from a threat to haul top Obama immigration officials to court to explain why the administration dragged its feet in resolving a violation of a court injunction concerning undocumented immigrants.

Last month, Andrew S. Hanen, the same U.S. district dourt judge responsible for blocking the Obama administration's controversial immigration programs from taking effect nationwide, issued a scathing order, saying he was "shocked and surprised" at the "cavalier attitude" the government had taken after admitting that it had erroneously given various benefits to approximately 2,000 individuals in violation of Hanen's original injunction.
    At the time, Hanen said the government's actions were "unacceptable," and if the government didn't act quickly to remedy the situation, he would bring officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, to court on Aug. 19 to explain why they "should not be held in contempt."
    In court filings, the government moved quickly to convince Hanen that it would remedy the situation, and eventually asked that next week's hearing be canceled.
    In his latest order, which was issued Tuesday evening, Hanen said that he would still hold the hearing, but that he would release "all individual defendants" from "mandatory attendance." Hanen said that while he remains concerned about the situation, it would suffice if government lawyers -- not top officials -- came to court to provide an update.