Case Summary

Plaintiffs, the State of Alabama and Congressman Morris J. Brooks, Jr., filed suit in Alabama federal court to challenge the U.S. Census Bureau’s Residence Criteria and Residence Situations Rule (Residence Rule), which provides that foreign nationals living in the United States will be counted in the census and allocated to the state where their usual residence is located—regardless of whether they are legally present in the United States. Plaintiffs argue that inclusion of illegal aliens in the census count will harm Alabama by causing it to lose one congressional seat as well as an electoral vote.

Plaintiffs alleged that the Residence Rule violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution including Article I, § 2; Article II, § 1; and the Fourteenth Amendment, along with various federal statutes including the Administrative Procedure Act, Reapportionment Act, and Census Act. Plaintiffs are seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the enforcement of the Residence Rule and to invalidate any reapportionment scheme or vote based upon total population.

On June 5, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and held the Plaintiffs had Article III standing to move forward with their claims. Additionally, the court has permitted several other states, cities, counties, and organizations to intervene as defendants. On October 9, 2020, the court denied the plaintiffs' Motion for the Appointment of a Three-Judge Court to decide the case.

On November 2, 2020, the district court granted the parties' joint motion to stay the case pending the Supreme Court's ruling on a census-related appeal, Trump v. New York, which the Supreme Court dismissed on December 18, 2020. On January 8, 2021, the court granted the parties' second joint motion to stay the proceedings and ordered the plaintiffs to show the court why the injuries they alleged are more than mere predictions by February 10, 2021, or within seven days of the delivery of apportionment figures, whichever is earlier.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing the Department of Commerce to calculate state population totals and reapportionment figures based upon the whole number of persons in the state without regard to their immigration status, thereby revoking President Trump's Executive Order 13880 and Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2020.

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama - 2:18-cv-00772