A federal court has blocked an order from President Donald Trump attempting to keep illegal immigrants’ census numbers from apportioning congressional districts.
An unanimous three-judge panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the executive memorandum from Trump breaks the executive branch’s “constitutional responsibility to count the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers.”
The court decision prevents the Department of Commerce from reporting any information related to illegal immigrants in its census numbers that could be used to carry out Trump’s directive.
In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled against the president’s effort to include a citizenship question to the census, saying the administration had a “contrived” motive in attempting the move.
In July, Trump directed the Commerce Department to exclude illegal immigrants from every state’s population when devising the apportionment of congressional seats.
Immigrant rights groups and multiple states immediately argued Trump’s decision violated the legal mandate requiring apportionment to correlate directly to the state’s entire population.