Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Trump may face more court battles over giving citizenship data to states

PoliticsJul 15, 2019 06:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 

By Nick Brown and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's order that all federal agencies provide citizenship data to the Commerce Department could open a new legal front over whether states can redraw their voting maps based on citizenship status.

Trump dropped the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census on Thursday following a recent defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, he ordered other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, to provide relevant data.

The Census Bureau can combine such information with citizenship data it receives from a population tally called the American Community Survey (ACS), which is based on a smaller sample than the once-a-decade census.

If states use citizenship data provided by the federal government to redistrict, it would likely shift power toward Republicans, as Reuters reported in April https://reut.rs/2G9v8to. But it would also trigger a new wave of litigation, some advocates and redistricting specialists said.

Potential plaintiffs could claim that citizen-only redistricting violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and other laws barring discrimination against minority groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will "monitor and watch what the federal government is doing and be very vigilant for any redistricting issues that might arise," Sarah Brannon, managing attorney for the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said on a call with journalists on Thursday.

    "We will sue as necessary," she said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on potential legal challenges.

Congress and state legislatures both rely on census data to determine how many political seats districts should get. As it stands, all residents count, regardless of citizenship or legal status.

But there has been a fierce political debate about whether that should change, especially in state districting.

In his remarks on Thursday, Trump noted that some states may want to draw state and local districts based on eligible voters. He has repeatedly said that asking residents about their citizenship status is important and should not be controversial.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) would also sue if there is an attempt to use anything but a full population count to distribute political seats, the group's general counsel Thomas Saenz said in an interview.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) is also keeping a close eye on developments, said its president John Yang.

Both groups and the ACLU have been plaintiffs in litigation regarding the proposed census citizenship question.

The Census Bureau must present redistricting data to state legislatures by April 1, 2021. But litigation could happen much sooner, experts said.

Before the Census Bureau sends information to states, it needs to file a notice in the Federal Register, triggering a comment period when advocates would likely raise objections, said Jeff Wice, a Democratic redistricting adviser.

Anything that "furthers the Trump administration's goal to weaken representation for immigrant populations" could be a trigger, he said.

Lawsuits could take many forms. Plaintiffs could sue legislative bodies that try to employ citizen-based voting maps, or may go after the Trump administration itself for providing the data.

    One potential defense is a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Evenwel.

In that ruling, justices rejected arguments from Texas Republicans that legislative districts should be based on the number of eligible voters. But the Court stopped short of ruling on whether a state could use metrics like citizenship to draw voting maps.

Many scholars have said Evenwel leaves the door open for a state to draw maps based on its citizen population.

The state of Alabama sued the federal government last year, arguing that congressional apportionment should exclude non-citizens.

Legal scholars see the case as a long shot, but U.S. Attorney General William Barr appeared to reference the lawsuit on Thursday.

    "There is a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for apportionment purposes," Barr said. "Depending on the resolution of that dispute, this data may be relevant to those considerations. We will be studying this issue."

In the meantime, New Jersey Senator and U.S. presidential candidate Cory Booker introduced a bill on Wednesday to block the Census Bureau from including citizenship data in the digital file it sends to states.

Trump may face more court battles over giving citizenship data to states
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Bagger Vance
Bagger Vance Jul 15, 2019 1:42PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Time to end the racist ACLU
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email