Supreme Court to Hear Trump’s Bid to Exclude Illegal Aliens From Census

Supreme Court to Hear Trump’s Bid to Exclude Illegal Aliens From Census by Janita Kan for NTD

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a Trump administration effort to exclude illegal aliens from the 2020 census count that is used to apportion congressional seats.

In an unsigned order (pdf), the justices set a Nov. 30 date to hear oral arguments from the parties.

A three-judge panel in a New York district court in September ruled that Trump’s memorandum excluding illegal aliens from congressional apportionment count was an illegal overreach of the president’s authority as delegated by Congress. The judges on that panel declared the memo, which was issued on July 21, as unlawful and subsequently blocked it from being implemented.

This prompted the Trump administration to appeal the decision to the top court.

In their 86-page decision (pdf), the judges said that federal law required the use of one set of numbers to count people for the census and in the process of redrawing congressional districts, known as apportionment. So long as the illegal immigrants are living in the United States, “illegal aliens qualify as ‘persons in’ a ‘state’” who should be counted, the judges ruled.

The July 21 memo, which is at the center of the case, stated that “it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status,” for the purpose of the reapportionment of Congress members following the 2020 census.

“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of government. Affording congressional representation, and therefore formal political influence, to states on account of the presence within their borders of aliens who have not followed the steps to secure a lawful immigration status under our laws undermines those principles,” the memo states.

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