Embed from Getty Images

In a decision on Thursday, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez refused Thursday to block California from restricting local law enforcement cooperation with immigration agents, an early legal victory for the state's "sanctuary" law, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mendez wrote that "refusing to help is not the same as impeding," and that "standing aside does not equate to standing in the way."

Given the high-profile nature of the case, Mendez said he expected his ruling will be appealed.