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Immigration Law

Court: Trump's Census Gambit Violates "the Constitution, the applicable statutes, and 230 years of history"

City of San Jose v. Trump

"Before us are Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for Partial Summary Judgment regarding the Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2020, which declared that, “[f]or the purposes 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.” Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census, 85 Fed. Reg. 44,679, 44,680 (July 23, 2020) (the “Presidential Memorandum”). Plaintiffs, which include the State of California, numerous cities and counties across the country, a school district, a public interest organization, and citizens, challenge the legality of the Presidential Memorandum.1 We conclude that the Presidential Memorandum violates the Constitution and two statutes. Specifically, the Presidential Memorandum violates the Apportionment and Enumeration Clauses of Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution; the constitutional separation of powers; the Census Act of 1954; and the Reapportionment Act of 1929. Our decision is not based on any preference we might have on the question of whether, as a matter of policy, undocumented immigrants should be included for purposes of determining the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. The Presidential Memorandum provides reasons for its policy, but those are not for us to review. Rather, our conclusion is based upon our determination of what the law requires. The policy which the Presidential Memorandum attempts to enact has already been rejected by the Constitution, the applicable statutes, and 230 years of history."