Andrew Harrier / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Updated at 7:32 PM ET
The U.S. Supreme Court Agreed To a quick review of President Trump’s attempt to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers used to redistribute seats in Congress.
Last month, prof Lower court ruling He blocked Trump’s bid, calling a presidential memorandum calling for this unprecedented change illegal. The judges have now rushed to hear the oral arguments in the case on November 30th.
The session is scheduled to take place a month in advance Federal law says The state’s latest population stats are credited with the redistribution of the House of Representatives’ 435 seats between states to the President. The timing increases the likelihood that Trump will attempt to change the people included in the numbers during his current term.
Since the first United States census in 1790, the numbers of residents of the United States counted to determine each state’s share of congressional seats have included citizens and non-citizens, regardless of immigration status.
“President Trump has repeatedly tried – and failed – to weaponize the census for his attacks on immigrant communities. The Supreme Court rejected his attempt last year and it should do so again,” said Dale Hu, attorney for the chief plaintiffs at the American Civil Liberties Organization. The union that successfully argued against The question of nationality is now banned The administration wanted on the 2020 Census forms.
The Justice Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Federal law Requires the president to deliver to Congress a “census-based statement of the total number of people in each state” to Congress once a decade.
In September, a lower federal court in Manhattan declared the Trump warrant an illegal override of the president’s limited authority, as mandated by Congress, over the census.
Even if the Supreme Court overturns that ruling, it is not clear whether Trump will be able in practice to exclude unauthorized immigrants from this year’s census results. The 2020 forms did not include a question about a person’s immigration status.
The US Census Bureau can provide information about unauthorized immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, According to the court filing.
But during Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Department Attorney General John Coughlan Before a federal court in Maryland, Which is hearing a similar lawsuit over Trump’s memo, that the administration does not know what other groups of unauthorized immigrants it could practically remove from distribution accounts.
This week, the Supreme Court Make a judgment This allowed management to finish the count for the census more than two weeks earlier than expected.
With the only opposition by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court order paved the way for the office to try to meet the statutory deadline of Dec.31 to inform the president about the state’s new population.
Adhering to this timeline will help ensure that – regardless of whether Trump wins re-election – he can control the numbers for the redistribution of House seats before they are handed over to Congress for approval next year.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – who oversees the office and is required by law to hand over state numbers to the president – has said that he “will release these census data publicly and, according to past practice, will do so in conjunction with handing them over to the president,” such as NPR reported on Wednesday.
A statement issued by the office Friday, however, leaves the door open for the possibility that those numbers will not be delivered to the president by the December 31 deadline. The bureau now says it is “working hard to process the data in order to provide complete and accurate statistics to the state’s population as soon as possible from the statutory deadline of December 31, 2020”.