Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Trump’s Bid to Alter Census Results

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The United States Supreme Court dismissed the case, Trump v. New York, on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. The suit challenged the president’s decision to exclude illegal immigrants from the census data, which is used to determine how many seats in the House of Representatives and the number of electors each state is allotted.

President Trump is trying to undo 200 years of reapportionment practice.

The case stems from July when Trump instructed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to alter how the census was reported. He requested the data be separated into reports, one with everyone counted and the other without undocumented aliens.

In the 6-3 decision, the justices stated it was too early to bring such a case before the court. It would be irresponsible for the court to rule for or against the lawsuit since Trump has yet to receive the final Census Bureau report, and there is no action on his part to be challenged as yet.

Supreme CourtThe plaintiff’s “case is riddled with contingencies and speculation,” and Trump’s “policy may not prove feasible to implement in any manner whatsoever,” wrote the Supreme Court Justices.

Moreover, NPR reports that even though the Supreme Court’s “decision took no position on the merits of the case, at the oral arguments, a majority of the justices indicated hostility to the Trump administration’s position.”

Trump’s recent Supreme Court appointee, Amy Comey Barrett, pointed out that residents have never been isolated based on their immigration status during reapportionment. Then, directing her comments to the acting solicitor general, Barrett said there is “a lot of historical evidence and longstanding practice cuts against your position.”

American Civil Liberties Union Dale Ho represented the challengers said the law is clear — every person in the United States is entitled to representation. The law is clear.

It is the Supreme Court’s job to enforce the U.S. Constitution. If the president tries to implement his plans, Ho says the states will file suit again.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


NBC: Supreme Court throws out challenge to Trump census plan to exclude undocumented immigrants; by Pete Williams
The Washington Post: Supreme Court won’t decide yet if Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants when allocating congressional seats; by Robert Barnes and
Tara Bahrampour
NPR: Supreme Court Punts Census Case, Giving Trump An Iffy Chance To Alter Numbers; by Nina Totenberg and Hansi Lo Wang

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tim Sackton’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Michael Vandon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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