President Donald Trump chalked up a win in the courts on Friday.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the lawfulness of the Trump administration’s policy to exclude illegal aliens from the census for the purposes of determining Congressional representation.
The court found that the lawsuit is “premature” since the policy has not yet been put into practice.
“At present, this case is riddled with contingencies and speculation that impede judicial review,” the court wrote in its opinion, continuing, “The president, to
be sure, has made clear his desire to exclude aliens without lawful status from the apportionment base. But the president qualified his directive by providing that the Secretary should gather information ‘to the extent practicable’ and that aliens should be excluded ‘to the extent feasible.'”
“Any prediction how the Executive Branch might eventually implement this general statement of policy is ‘no more than conjecture’ at this time,” it added.
Liberal justices dissent
Joined by liberal justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Stephen Breyer issued a dissent, arguing that the court should rule that the proposed exclusion is “unlawful.”
“The plain meaning of the governing statutes, decades of historical practice, and uniform interpretations from all three branches of Government demonstrate that aliens without lawful status cannot be excluded from the decennial census solely on account of that status,” Breyer wrote. “The Government’s effort to remove them from the apportionment base is unlawful, and I believe this Court should say so.”
The exclusion of noncitizens from the count for Congressional representation may be easier said than done. Identifying enough of those who are illegally present could prove a challenge and may not a significant difference in the final total, the acting solicitor general admitted, according to The New York Times.
Trump originally ordered the exclusion in a July 2020 memo, arguing that “[a]ffording congressional representation, and therefore formal political influence, to States on account of the presence within their borders of aliens who have not followed the steps to secure a lawful immigration status under our laws undermines those principles. Many of these aliens entered the country illegally in the first place. Increasing congressional representation based on the presence of aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status would also create perverse incentives encouraging violations of Federal law.”
SCOTUS disappoints Trump in elections case
The decision comes as President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration with the high court in the midst of his legal battle over the presidential election. “We’ve proven it [fraud], but no judge has had the courage, including the Supreme Court — I am so disappointed in them,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” last week. “No judge, including in the Supreme Court of the United States, has had the courage to allow it to be heard.”
On Thursday, Trump again said he is “very disappointed” by the Supreme Court.
I am very disappointed in the United States Supreme Court, and so is our great country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2020