A federal judge has ruled against the House's bid to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious.

But the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson may also pave the way for the release of those crucial documents.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a request to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in a document dispute tied to a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in an order Monday that the effort from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was "entirely unnecessary."

The committee sought a contempt sanction against Holder, saying the Justice Department had failed to comply with an August order directing it to provide Congress certain documents that are at the center of the dispute.

Jackson denied the request but did order the Justice Department to produce to the committee "non-privileged" documents by Nov. 3.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said the department was "pleased that the court had rejected the committee's latest stunt."

Judge Andrew Napolitano analyzed the key ruling on "Fox and Friends" this morning, saying usually the Justice Department would prosecute a case like this.

But since the department is run by Eric Holder, the subject of the prosecution, the House had to hire a private attorney.

Napolitano said the judge has now dismissed that prosecution, but agreed with the House that Holder did not comply with the subpoena requests for Fast and Furious documents.

He said the ruling "should" lead to the release of the documents. Brian Kilmeade asked what will happen if Holder, who has announced his resignation, tries to delay until after he leaves.

"His replacement will be under the same thumb [of the federal judge]. If he intentionally delays it, nothing can prevent the House from re-charging him with contempt," said Napolitano, adding that Holder can still be prosecuted once he leaves office.

Watch his full analysis above, including on a judge's ruling that Ferguson, Missouri police violated the Constitution during the protests over the summer.