U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS will decide whether census reapportionment report must count immigrants here illegally

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2020 census

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether President Donald Trump can exclude immigrants in the country illegally from a census report used for reapportionment.

The Supreme Court put the case on a fast track, with arguments set for Nov. 30, report the Washington Post, the New York Times, SCOTUSblog and the National Law Journal. The cert petition is here.

At issue is a 14th Amendment provision that reads, “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state.”

The Constitution also provides that the federal government should conduct an “actual enumeration” every 10 years, in such manner as directed by Congress. Congress has directed the secretary of Commerce to conduct “a decennial census of population … in such form and content as he may determine.”

The plaintiffs in the case include 22 states, the District of Columbia, 15 cities and counties, and several public interest groups. The case is Trump v. State of New York.

The U.S. Department of Justice told the Supreme Court that the U.S. Census Bureau is still evaluating its ability to identify those immigrants with an illegal immigration status.

Trump abandoned plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census in July 2019 after the Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Department had to provide a better explanation of its decision to add the question.

In another census case last week, the Supreme Court allowed the Census Bureau to end data collection before an Oct. 31 extended deadline set by lower courts.

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