The US Supreme Court will hear a case on the legality of a Trump administration plan to exclude undocumented immigrants in the nation from the decadal Census count, which will have an impact on everything from Congressional representation to apportionment of federal funding.
As the Associated Press reports, the Trump plan contradicts how the Census count has been applied since the founding of the country, with the Constitution calling for it to be a counting of the “numbers” in each state, regardless of immigration status.
Trump has pushed the US Census Bureau to produce the tally by the end of the year even though the Census was bogged down by a lack of funding, a Trump-demanded shorter time schedule, and natural disasters such as wildfires on the West Coast and super-active hurricane season in the Gulf and Atlantic states.
The coronavirus has also inhibited the work of Census door knockers, who were hired three months behind schedule, yet still expected to complete their work by October 1st.
The Trump administration has already lost three cases in three different federal courts to alter the calculations of the Census. A fourth case was delayed rejected because the Court it was premature.
“What Trump wants to do would be a radical break from [counting all residents in the United States],” Dale Ho, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who will argue on behalf of immigration advocates and civil rights groups in the Supreme Court case, told the AP. “The losers wouldn’t be individual people. It would be entire states and communities that would lose representation when undocumented members of those communities get cut out of the count used to apportion the House.”