Supreme Court will hear Trump appeal to exclude undocumented immigrants from count

President Donald J. Trump hosts a Make America Great event in Greenville, NC United States on October 15, 2020.

Peter Zay | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Friday that it will hear arguments on Nov. 30 on an appeal by the Trump administration that seeks to exclude the tally of undocumented immigrants in the United States from the Census data used to calcuate the apportionment of congressional districts.

If the Trump administration wins the appeal, the case could result in a loss of seats in the House of Representatives by states with relatively large numbers of undocumented immigrants.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan in September had blocked the administration from excluding undocumented residents from the count determinating congressional apportionment. President Donald Trump had said in July that the new policy would not count such immigrants for that purpose.

The appeals court noted in its ruling that throughout American history, the Census tally of people in each state used to determine how many seats in the House of Representatives a given state gets has “included every person residing in the United States at the time of the census, whether citizen or non-citizen and whether living here with legal status or without.”

The appeals court noted that Trump’s memorandum outline the new plan identifed a state, believed to be California “that would stand to lose two or three seats in the House of Representatives if illegal aliens are excluded from the apportionment base.”

A group of 22 states, the District of Columbia and 15 cities and counties, as well as the United States Conference of Mayors and a number of non-governmental organizations had challenged the Trump administration on the plan.

The Supreme Court recently said it would continue hearing cases remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic for at least the rest of the calendar year.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a decision that allowed the Trump administration to end field field operations for the 2020 census effective that day, even as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals still considers a pending appeal that seeks to extend the count.

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