Federal court blocks Trump’s directive to exclude illegal immigrants from census count

by Peter Heck · Sep 11th, 2020 8:40 am

Last Updated Sep 12th, 2020 at 7:06 pm

A U.S. District Court in New York ruled in a unanimous, three-judge, unsigned opinion that President Trump's order to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census is unlawful. The White House argued that those illegally in the country should not count towards a state's population total that is used in determining congressional representation numbers.

The court disagreed.

"The President is not free to substitute his own view of what is most 'consonant with the principles of representative democracy' for the view that Congress already chose," the judges wrote.

The panel, consisting of two judges appointed by a Republican president and one appointed by a Democrat, declared that Trump had violated his "constitutional responsibility," which they defined as counting "the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers."

"The merits are not particularly close or complicated," they concluded.

New York Attorney General Letitia James celebrated the ruling, blasting Trump's "repeated attempts to hinder" the census process.

The ACLU called the decision a "huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants' rights."


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