The Supreme Court says it will decide whether President Donald Trump can exclude people living in the US illegally from the census count. Never in the history of U.S. have foreigners been disbarred from the population count that determines how House seats, and by extension Electoral College votes, are divided among the states, a three-judge federal court said in September when it termed Trump's policy as wrong.
To put the case on a fast track, the high court has set it for oral arguments on November 30.
At the behest of President Donald Trump, the Census Bureau began exploring ways to determine the number of undocumented immigrants in each state in July, in an effort to exclude those residents from reapportionment calculations. According to NBC, Judge Amy Coney Barrett could join in the case if she's confirmed by then.
One month ago, in the case of the State of NY v. Trump, a federal appeals court blocked the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau from including information on undocumented immigrants.
With the only opposition by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court order paved the way for the office to try to meet the statutory deadline of Dec.31 to inform the president about the state's new population.
As soon as states are allotted the districts, the states themselves draw the districts, which will likely be used first within the 2022 congressional election. The federal court panel said as long as undocumented citizens reside in a region, they must be counted.
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The challengers to the policy also argue that it violates the Constitution's mandate that a "whole number of persons" make up the count for apportionment. The Constitution requires the count of citizens to be carried out every 10 years in the states.
The Supreme Court docket on October 14 allowed the Trump administration to wind down inhabitants counting for the census early in a blow to civil rights advocates who mentioned it might result in an undercount of racial minorities.
The census itself doesn't collect knowledge on citizenship or immigration standing.
Coronavirus has made 2020 a bad year for the U.S. Census Bureau to count all the people in the United States due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The constitutionally-mandated process to determine the number of House seats for each state occurs every 10 years after the census is taken.
Even if the Supreme Court overturns that ruling, it is not clear whether Trump will be able in practice to exclude unauthorized immigrants from this year's census results.