Firm Files Lawsuit Challenging Decision to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants in Counts for Dividing Up Congress’ Seats

July 24, 2020

On July 23, 2020, Patterson Belknap attorneys filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. federal court challenging President Trump’s recent decision to exclude undocumented immigrants when calculating the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives.  The complaint—the first legal challenge to Trump’s announcement—was filed on behalf of a coalition including the nonprofit democracy group Common Cause, the cities of Atlanta and Paterson, and individual voters.  It asserts that the Administration’s historically unprecedented action violates the plain text of the U.S. Constitution, which requires all “persons in each State” to be counted, as well as applicable statutes and Department of Justice opinions governing apportionment.  The suit also links Trump’s announcement to the Administration’s earlier failed attempt to include a citizenship question on the census, asserting that it is “the latest in an interconnected series” of unlawful attempts to “manipulate the census and apportionment process to deprive immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities of political power.”

To read the Complaint, click here.

To read related press, click here.

To read related press in NPR, please click here; in Law360, please click here; and in The Washington Post, please click here.