Trump’s instruction to take away undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census is fueling the courts
Since the lower courts offer different perspectives, it is expected that the Supreme Court hears in another three days.
A federal court in Washington, DC, has dismissed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s policy to exclude undocumented immigrants from a series of critical census operations.
National Public Radio reports that Wednesday’s decision was made by a three-person jury composed mostly of Trump-appointed judges. It will only take a few days for the US Supreme Court to open oral arguments in a similar lawsuit in New York.
Trump, adds NPR, is hoping to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 census, which will determine each state’s share of seats in the House of Representatives as well as the number of voters on the electoral college.
While the Supreme Court decision will make far more of a difference than any federal court decision, NPR suggests that the DC-based lawsuit may offer t
The Supreme Court building. Photo by Mark Thomas, courtesy of Pixabay.
He created a similar opportunity by considering the New York suit as “not ripe for review.”
Leah Litman, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, told National Public Radio that she believed the Supreme Court would not diverge materially in its own decision.
“I think the court will also say the dispute is not ripe,” Litman said, noting that “they could have upheld the New York court’s decision” instead of deciding to review.
That’s because the New York court – unlike its counterpart in Washington, DC – was one of the first to say that the instructions to appoint President Trump are in violation of federal law requiring the commander in chief to “make a statement to Congress that shows the whole number of people in each state. “
Other courts across the country have made similar rulings, believing that the “total number of people in each state”, by definition, cannot exclude undocumented immigrants.
In another, earlier article, NPR exposed evidence that the Trump administration is actively trying to “change” the number of censuses by the courts.
Currently, the Department of Commerce, which oversees the US Census Bureau, has a deadline of December 31 to provide President Trump with initial figures.
However, the outlines of the coronavirus pandemic have made it difficult to determine whether the Bureau can meet this deadline. Furthermore, census staff still seem unsure whether and how to count undocumented immigrants when reporting their results.
Speeding up the census could prove disastrous. While each initial census usually arrives with “routine errors,” NPR notes that the Census Bureau has already started cutting corners – and, more broadly, is at risk of more serious errors.
Vanita Gupta, a former Obama official and executive director of the leadership conference on civil and human rights, said it was important for the Census Bureau to complete its current census on time and without interference.
Even so, Gupta said it would be hugely problematic if the bureau could not complete its work before the incoming Biden administration arrives at the White House.
“I think waiting for a new government and a new Congress would be too late for the census,” said Gupta. “A new administration and a new Congress would really be in uncharted territory that would take some time to navigate, potentially leading to a constitutional crisis that could be avoided if Congress gave the time and time to the Census Bureau that it needs. “
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Trump’s policy of excluding undocumented immigrants from the census due to be heard in SC on November 30th