Sen. Kennedy is leaving the Judiciary Committee, and thus his chairmanship of the immigration subcommittee. Though this doesn't preclude an amnesty extravaganza, it does make it a lot less likely. His passion for the issue has made Kennedy the single most important force in making immigration policy since the early 1960s (which is why it's so screwed up), and his staff probably knows more about it than almost anyone else on the Hill. My guess is that he figures he's got one big legislative achievement left in him and weighed the odds of success for amnesty vs. socialized medicine — and decided health care was just more likely to succeed. Personally, I'd rather both fail, but if I have to choose between open borders and government-run health care (I mean the half of health care spending that the government isn't already responsible for), I'll reluctantly settle for the latter.