Supreme Court to review Trump administration policy on excluding illegal immigrants from census

President Donald Trump and Republicans are celebrating a recent announcement made by the United States Supreme Court.

The New York Post reports that the justices on the High Court have agreed to hear a case that could significantly alter congressional representation in the future. 

Some background

The case has to do with whether illegal immigrants ought to be counted in the census. This is an important issue because census data is used to determine how many representatives each state gets to have in Congress.

The Trump administration has argued that illegal aliens should not be counted in the census. They believe that illegal aliens ought not to have a say in the government of the American people.

Up until now, illegal aliens have been included in the census, which means that states with large illegal alien populations, such as New York and California, have received a higher number of representatives than perhaps they deserve. The president wants to correct this problem.

If the Trump administration wins, blue California alone could lose two to three seats in the House of Representatives.

The issue

The specific question that the Supreme Court will be asked to rule on is whether President Trump has the authority under the Constitution to clarify whether or not illegal residents ought to be counted on the census.

“As history, precedent, and structure indicate, the President need not treat all illegal aliens as ‘inhabitants’ of the States and thereby allow their defiance of federal law to distort the allocation of the people’s Representatives,” said attorney Jeffrey Wall.

Thus far, Trump’s legal team has lost at the lower court level. But there is renewed hope with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case. That’s because of the court’s new composition, which consists of five decidedly conservative justices: Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

The importance of timing

One concern for the Trump administration has been that time could be running out. It is looking as though Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be the next president, and, if that happens, then whether or not the president has the authority to clarify this census rule will make no difference. Biden, as president, would certainly not look to exclude illegal aliens.

But in good news for Trump, Reuters reports that the “court is deciding the case on an expedited schedule, with a ruling due before the end of the year. That would make it difficult for the incoming Biden administration to revisit Trump’s plan if it is upheld.”

Another concern is that it is unclear whether the census would even be able to be completed in time, should President Trump achieve legal victory. This case is certainly worth keeping your eye on. Oral arguments will take place on Monday.

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