The Supreme Court docket took up Friday October 16 a case invalidating the Trump Administration’s scheme to exclude undocumented aliens from figuring of Home seats in reapportionments.
This transfer represents a blow in opposition to the long-established census counting technique that may massively shift Home seats from Democratic to Republican states.
Trump launched the scheme on July 21. He referred to as for an odd twin documenting by Wilbur Ross’s Commerce Division, one of many two being the traditional census. However, the opposite being would use some still-undefined technique of to challenge or estimate or simply guess the variety of undocumented immigrants. There are not any questions requested by the census itself to rely undocumented immigrants.
The case is known as New York v. Trump. It was a foul signal that the Court docket took up the case and set it for argument November 30. The Court docket might have left this case alone. A 3-judge panel mentioned final month that the Trump scheme was unlawful. The three judges included two nominated by President George W. Bush and one by President Barack Obama. It was balanced and devoted itself to an goal consideration of the authorized points.
I wrote on September 10 of their choice. It was unanimous. Its 86 pages went totally and deeply into the historical past of the census. This was one of many uncommon three-judge district courts (they was extra ceaselessly convened for problems with the constitutionality of statutes.) The pure Supreme Court docket response would have been to summarily affirm, recognizing how far out of line Trump’s scheme was.
Beneath the Trump scheme, the states that may almost certainly lose Home seats in reapportionment could be these with comparatively bigger populations of undocumented aliens: California, Texas and New Jersey. The states that may acquire seats could be states, like Indiana, with comparatively larger citizen populations. Though the correlation just isn’t good, the states shedding Home seats could be extra Democratic, and the states gaining Home seats could be extra Republican.
This could be one of many first instances argued, determined and issued with Amy Coney Barrett. What sort of distinction would she make, if, say, a conservative majority reviving the Trump scheme let her write the opinion? As her nomination hearings totally addressed, her method to statutory interpretation is Scalia’s method, a hard-edged textualism.
Pushing that method to its restrict, Barrett would discard all of the compelling historical past of the census analyzed by the balanced three-judge panel. As a substitute, she would take a look at numerous sources, related and irrelevant, to point out that the phrases “individuals” has coated various totally different meanings. With the liberty of motion thusly created, she would in brief order determine that President Trump might do what he preferred, no matter two centuries of historical past.