The Supreme Court will take up President Donald Trump’s charge to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 census, which will be used to restructure congressional districts next year.
Politico reported the court will hear arguments on Nov. 30 regarding the exclusion of those who are in the country unlawfully with regard to determining each state’s share of the 435 House seats.
The Census ended its counting of the population just this past week and will deliver its results to Trump by the end of the year.
But the president has argued that by counting illegal immigrants as part of the population, states which refuse to enforce immigration laws are rewarded by disproportionate representation in Congress.
Trump ordered a change to existing procedure in July, but his directive was defeated last month by a lower court, which concluded the president’s order was not a lawful change.
Now, the Supreme Court is expediting the case for its current session.
“The 14th Amendment requires districts to apportion congressional seats based on ‘counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed,’” Politico reported.
The White House views the numbers used to appropriate representation through the Census differently.
In a memorandum from July, President Trump ordered that illegal aliens not be considered by the Census numbers when used to allocate representation.
“The Constitution does not specifically define which persons must be included in the apportionment base,” the White House argued.
The memo further stated that “Although the Constitution requires the ‘persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed,’ to be enumerated in the census, that requirement has never been understood to include in the apportionment base every individual physically present within a State’s boundaries at the time of the census.”
“Instead, the term ‘persons in each State’ has been interpreted to mean that only the ‘inhabitants’ of each State should be included.”
In the memo, Trump then ordered the use of numbers of illegal immigrants stricken from consideration when restructuring districts.
“For the purpose of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” the memo said.
“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government.”
“Affording 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,” it added.
“I have accordingly determined that respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base, to the extent feasible and to the maximum extent of the President’s discretion under the law.”
The memo drew the fury of Democrats and immigration activists.
It has long been argued that including illegal inhabitants of states in the Census gives Democrats a representative advantage, which is then perpetuated by more and more illegal immigrants flocking to states which refuse to enforce immigration law.
The matter will now be decided by the Supreme Court.
Even if the high court agrees with the White House on the issue, it is unclear if a ruling could come in time to make a difference with regard to this year’s Census and its use for legislative redistricting.
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