Supreme Court to Consider Whether Census Must Count Illegal Immigrants in Allocating House Seats

  
Via:  Vic Eldred  •  5 days ago  •  8 comments

By:   Jess Bravin (WSJ)

Supreme Court to Consider Whether Census Must Count Illegal Immigrants in Allocating House Seats
“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy,” Mr. Trump’s order stated. “States adopting policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country and that hobble Federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws passed by the Congress should not be rewarded with greater representation in the House of Representatives.”

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WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court said Friday it would decide whether President Trump can exclude illegal immigrants from the census count used to determine congressional representation, setting an expedited schedule with arguments on Nov. 30.

In July, Mr. Trump issued an order that for the first time would exclude what it called “illegal aliens” from the decennial reapportionment of House seats among the states. The move would likely shift representation from urban areas and Democratic-trending states toward more rural and Republican-leaning states with smaller immigrant populations.

“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy,” Mr. Trump’s order stated. “States adopting policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country and that hobble Federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws passed by the Congress should not be rewarded with greater representation in the House of Representatives.”

Mr. Trump appeared to target California in particular. The order said, “one State is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens.” Counting them “for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated,” it stated.


A coalition of states led by New York, along with local governments and civil-rights groups, sued to stop the move. In September, a special three-judge court in New York found that Mr. Trump’s plan violated the Census Act, which, following the Constitution’s text, directs the president to transmit to Congress “the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed” and “the number of Representatives to which each State would be entitled” as a result.

The administration didn’t cite a “single example in the historical record where any branch of the Government adopted the interpretation of the Constitution that they now advance,” the court observed.

In its appeal to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department argued that the president enjoyed discretion to decide how to define the population entitled to representation during reapportionment.

“In the apportionment context, the phrase ‘persons in each State’ has long been understood to cover only a State’s ‘inhabitants,’ ” which implicitly affords the president discretion, acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall argued. “And as text, history, and precedent reveal, the term ‘inhabitants’ does not completely bar the President from exercising discretion to exclude illegal aliens.”

He wrote that foreign tourists who may be present on census day aren’t counted, and neither are foreign diplomats.

In response, New York Attorney General Letitia James told the court that “following Congress’s consistent legislative directive, every decennial census has enumerated and included in the apportionment base all persons who usually reside here, without regard to immigration or other legal status—with the sole exceptions of Indians not taxed and slaves under the three-fifths clause.”

The latter clause was nullified by the 13th and 14th amendments, which abolished slavery in 1865 and established the current reapportionment criteria three years later.

The Trump administration has been seeking to exclude immigrants in the U.S. without legal permission from the reapportionment base almost since taking office in 2017. It initially sought to place a citizenship question on the census questionnaire, asserting that its motivation was to improve compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protects minority voters.

Federal courts found that claim to be a pretext, and separate litigation brought to light evidence the involvement in the plan of  a Republican political consultant  who wrote that the question “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

Last year, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, blocked the administration from including the citizenship question. Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by four liberal justices, found that  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross apparently “contrived” a phony rationale  for adding the question, violating federal law that requires transparency and reasoned decisions in policy-making.

That 2019 decision stunned the administration and led to days of confusion over whether the administration would attempt a legal workaround to get the question on the form. Ultimately, the president was persuaded that such a move was impossible. Instead the administration sought to count citizens and non-citizens by matching census responses with citizenship-verified records from state and federal agencies. This would let states use just citizen totals to draw political districts, although that also would likely face a court challenge.


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Vic Eldred
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    5 days ago

"Mr. Trump appeared to target California in particular. The order said, “one State is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens.” Counting them “for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated,” it stated."


Hopefully the this Court will follow the Constitution.

 
 
 
MAGA
1.1  MAGA  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    5 days ago

As a Rural Californian I stand with President Trump in this.  Our congressional and state legislative bodies should be determined only by a count of US Citizens within each state and district within it.  Even if they count resident aliens and illegal invaders for other demographic purposes.  

 
 
 
Snuffy
2  Snuffy    5 days ago

I just wish Congress would get off their ass and fix immigration. Then we wouldn't have the argument this seed is going to generate.

I don't know if the administration is going to win this fight and IMO I think if someone is living in the US, paying taxes and obeying the other laws they should be represented in Washington. But if Congress would fix the immigration system this argument would be solved.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Snuffy @2    5 days ago

We would need the WH and both chambers with a super majority in the Senate to do it.

Vote straight Republican on Nov 3rd

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  Snuffy @2    5 days ago
I just wish Congress would get off their ass and fix immigration.

The Democrats agreed to fix that when they bamboozled Reagan into giving illegal alien invaders amnesty.  The Democrats lied then and continue to lie to this day.  The ONLY thing the Democrats are concerned with is gaining another 'constituency' to lei and promise to help voting year after voting year, only to tell those promised something, 'sorry, but we promise NEXT election cycle' to keep our promise.

We have an immigration system.  What we DON'T have is actual enforcement of the laws.

 
 
 
MAGA
2.2.1  MAGA  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2    5 days ago

We have at least something with regard to following and enforcing existing laws as long as Trump is President of the United States.  Trump is even gain in Latino support in America due to his policies.  And we have him to thank for some real security walls on our southern border.  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  MAGA @2.2.1    5 days ago

Whatever his flaws, he was a man of steel who stood up against all the powers of government and the media! History will treat him well.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
2.2.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    5 days ago
Whatever his flaws, he was a man of steel who stood up against all the powers of government and the media! History will treat him well.

I'm not certain of that. The man is a narcissistic ass hat most of the time. He could have been so much better if he simply stayed off social media. He seems to know how to speak to only one segment of his supporters.

In spite of that, he's done or tried to do a lot of great things. I'm for most of what he's tried to do. 

As to how history will treat him, history is written by the victors. I'm afraid that, in the long run, that's going to be the Dems. They control public education so the more time goes by, the more their base will increase, because they are turning out functional idiots. 

 
 
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