President Donald Trump’s long-running efforts to make sure that only citizens are counted in the 2020 census will soon get a hearing at the Supreme Court.
The high court will consider President Trump’s move to remove illegal immigrants from consideration next month, Politico reports.
SCOTUS to hear case in November
President Trump initially sought to include a citizenship question on the census, but he abandoned that effort last year after suffering a defeat at the Supreme Court. He then signed a memo in July calling for only citizens to be included to the fullest extent possible.
The high court said Friday that it will consider the issue on November 30, after a panel of judges ruled against Trump in September.
It’s an issue fraught with political consequences, since the census determines how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives. Leaving out illegal immigrants would likely cause Democratic states with high populations of illegal immigrants, like California, to lose seats.
Trump has said that those living in the country illegally should not be represented in government, a view once considered uncontroversial, but Democrats and liberal activist groups have been fighting the Trump administration tooth and nail.
“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government,” his July memo reads.
Progressives decry effort
Another census battle was recently decided in Trump’s favor, after the Supreme Court said that Trump could end the census count early. Liberal activists said the move would undercount racial minorities.
There is no citizenship question on the census, making it unclear how Trump would implement his order.
But challengers to Trump’s efforts have long argued that Trump is, as the plaintiffs put it, trying to “weaken the political influence of states with larger populations of undocumented immigrants,” a bizarre argument to be sure, considering that illegal immigrants technically should not have political influence at all. The American Civil Liberties Union said that Trump is trying to “weaponize” the census by counting only legal persons.
“President Trump has repeatedly tried — and failed — to weaponize the census for his attacks on immigrant communities. The Supreme Court rejected his attempt last year and should do so again,” said ACLU lawyer Dale Ho.
While it remains to be seen what the court will decide, a ruling affirming the sovereignty of the American people is sure to play badly with the left.