Court Battles

Trump administration to appeal ruling against excluding undocumented citizens from census

The Trump administration will appeal last week’s court ruling blocking the president’s order to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census data used for apportioning congressional seats, Department of Justice lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday.

The DOJ said in its filing that it would seek review of the decision with the Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York ruled unanimously last week to reject President Trump’s executive memorandum, finding that it clearly violated the law and likely the constitution.

“The merits of the parties’ dispute are not particularly close or complicated,” the panel wrote in an 86-page unsigned opinion.

The panel consisted of two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat. It was convened because the law requires lawsuits concerning the census to be heard by a panel instead of a single district court judge.

Last week’s ruling placed a permanent injunction on the administration from carrying out the president’s executive memorandum. 

The memo, which Trump signed in July, directed the Department of Commerce to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census data used to apportion congressional seats to each state. 

A coalition of immigrant rights groups and state and local officials quickly sued, alleging that the order violated legal and constitutional requirements that each state’s whole population be used to determine apportionment. 

The panel sided with the plaintiffs though declined to rule whether the order is unconstitutional. 

The Supreme Court last year blocked the administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, ruling that its stated rationale for the move was “contrived.”

Tags Census Citizenship congressional districts Donald Trump Supreme Court Undocumented immigrant

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