Supreme Court Fast-Tracks Dispute Over Illegal Aliens’ Place in Reapportionment
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to fast-track a dispute over whether people living in the United States illegally must be included in the reapportionment of congressional seats.
Under federal law, once the decennial census is completed, the secretary of commerce must give the president a state-by-state breakdown of the total population, which in turn is used to allocate seats in the House of Representatives.
In July, President Trump — stymied in his bid to have a citizenship question added to the census itself — issued a memorandum directing the secretary to include information in his report that would allow him to exclude people who are in the country illegally from the apportionment calculation.
The formal request has profound implications for the makeup of Congress. According to the Pew Research Center, California, Florida and Texas would end up with one less congressional seat each than if every resident were counted.
Without that population, California would lose two seats instead of one, Florida would gain one seat instead of two and Texas would gain two seats instead of three.
Additionally, the Pew analysis shows Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio would each keep a congressional seat they most likely would have lost during the apportionment process.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s directive inspired a rash of lawsuits. In one, filed by Common Cause on behalf of the City of Atlanta and others, the plaintiffs argue Trump’s memorandum breaks with almost 250 years of tradition and is unconstitutional.
Also challenging the directive are a coalition of states led by New York Attorney General Letitia James a group of civil rights organizations; and the ACLU, which is suing on behalf of immigrant rights groups.
In September, a three-judge panel in New York temporarily blocked the administration from going ahead with the plan.
Last week, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, representing the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to fast-track the combined cases and schedule oral arguments in December, by which point it hopes nominee Amy Coney Barrett will have joined the court.
In its brief order Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered those challenging the directive to respond to the government’s appeal by Oct. 7. As is their custom, the Justices did not explain their rationale for doing so.
Last year, a divided Supreme Court held the administration’s justification for including a citizenship question on the census was “pretext” and ordered it struck unless a better reason could be given.
Ultimately, the Commerce Department decided to abandon its plan to add the question.
In The News
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an effort by former President Donald Trump to shield his income tax records from N.Y. prosecutors. The court’s action is the apparent culmination of a lengthy legal battle that had already reached the high court once before.... Read More
WASHINGTON - The White House on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court it believes the Affordable Care Act should be upheld, reversing the position taken by the Trump Administration. The justices heard oral arguments in November in multiple cases involving a group of Republican-led states attempting to... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a pair of emoluments lawsuits against former President Donald Trump, ruling the cases are moot now that he's left office. The lawsuits were filed by the attorneys general for Maryland and Washington, D.C., and the government watchdog, Citizens... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court lifted a nationwide injunction Tuesday that had prevented the federal government from enforcing a rule that required women to see a health care professional in person before she'd be given access to a so-called abortion pill. The Food and Drug... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a challenge to President Donald Trump's plan to exclude people living in the country illegally from the population count as premature. Trump's insistence that illegal immigrants be excluded from the count could profoundly impact the number of seats... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether major colleges and universities are violating federal antitrust laws by refusing to pay the football and basketball players who bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to their campuses. The National Collegiate Athletic Association and several... Read More