President Donald Trump’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census results scored a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
According to Fox News, a 6-3 ruling dismissed a case that challenged the Trump administration’s authority to declare that undocumented aliens should not be included in census numbers for the purposes of determining congressional representation.
“No view on the merits”
In the unsigned opinion, justices determined that the case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the State of New York, lacked the requirements to be heard by the court.
According to the majority, “the standing and ripeness inquiries both lead to the conclusion that judicial resolution of this dispute is premature.”
As such, the court expressed “no view on the merits of the constitutional and related statutory claims presented,” asserting “only that they are not suitable for adjudication at this time.”
The three dissenting justices, liberals Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, argued that the case was not premature, going as far as to suggest Trump’s efforts to alter the census requirements are unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, supporters of the Trump administration’s position believe that undocumented immigrants give some largely Democratic states — such as New York and California — an unfair advantage when it comes to apportioning congressional representatives based on census data.
“Today’s ruling clears the way”
Trump has expressed a desire to remedy the situation, arguing that undocumented aliens should not count toward legislative delegations.
At some point, the Supreme Court is likely to determine whether the president has the authority to make such a change. Its recent decision did not touch on that issue, opting instead to toss the entire challenge out on procedural grounds.
If Democratic nominee Joe Biden is sworn in as president next month, however, it is likely that the matter would simply fade into obsolescence with his administration refusing to consider excluding any immigrants from the census data.
Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Justice celebrated the ruling in a statement on Friday.
“We are pleased that today’s ruling clears the way for the Commerce Department to continue its work on the census and send its full tabulation to the President,” the agency wrote.