Today, U.S. Supreme Court justices are due to consider President Donald Trump’s move to exclude illegal immigrants from the total population used to allocate congressional districts to states.One aspect of his tough stance on immigration that was pursued in his final weeks in office.
The court, which has a 6-3 majority of conservatives including three judges appointed by Trump, is due to hear an 80-minute oral argument over the phone. Judges adjudicate the case on an expedited schedule, with sentencing before the end of the year. This would make it difficult for the president-elect Joe Biden To reconsider Trump’s plan if it is upheld.
Competitors to Trump’s July directive include various states led by New York, cities, counties, and immigrant rights groups. They argued that the Republican president’s move could leave several million people untold and cause California, Texas and New Jersey to lose seats in the US House of Representatives.
Residential districts are based on the state’s population in the decennial national census.
Lawrence Hurley told Reuters that competitors have said that the Trump plan will weaken the political influence of states with greater numbers of illegal immigrants, including the severely democratic state of California, by reducing their real residents and denying them seats in the House of Representatives. If California loses House of Representatives, it likely means that Democrats will lose House seats, which will benefit Republicans.
There are an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Until now, the government’s practice has been to count all people, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. The United States Constitution requires that House seats be divided on the basis of “the total number of people in each state.”
The Challengers argued that Trump’s policy violates both the Constitution and the Census Act, the federal law that determines how the census is conducted. Trump’s attorneys said in court papers that he acted within his authority and that competitors lacked the necessary legal standing to bring the case.
The census itself does not collect data on a person’s nationality or immigration status. The Trump administration will base its numbers on data collected elsewhere, although it has not explained the methods used A spokesman for the US Census Bureau said: “The methods used to present the census at the state level will be announced once they are completed.”
By law, the president is set to send a report to Congress in early January with the population of each state and the number of counties assigned to them.
Once states are assigned their own provinces, they themselves draw district boundaries, which will be used first in the 2022 congressional elections.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Trump’s efforts to add a nationality issue to the census. Critics said the question was aimed at intimidating immigrants from population participation and artificially reducing population numbers in predominantly Democratic regions, for the benefit of Republicans as well.
Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in that ruling. But the addition of Amy Connie Barrett, Trump’s third nominee to the court, changes its dynamics.