Case Summary

On July 23, 2020, Common Cause filed a lawsuit against the President, claiming that his July 21 executive order entitled "Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census" is both unconstitutional and contrary to existing statutes. Defendants include President Trump, the Department of Commerce, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives. The plaintiffs are asking for a declaratory judgment that the July 21 order excluding undocumented immigrants from state population counts violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, Article I Section 2, the Census Act, and the Reapportionment Act, and for injunctive relief barring the Census Bureau from sharing census citizenship data with the President.

On November 26, 2020, the D.C. District Court issued an order dismissing the plaintiffs suit, finding that the case was not yet ripe for review. In their opinion, the District Court explained that the enumeration and apportionment processes are not finalized until the President transmits his "statement" to Congress after having received all relevant and accurate census data from the Secretary of Commerce and Census Bureau. With the Secretary and Census Bureau still actively processing the 2020 census data, it is not yet clear how the Secretary will carry out the memorandum's directive or what impact, if any, those enumeration decisions would have on reapportionment, and it would be inappropriate for the Court to interfere in these "ongoing administrative actions" at this time.

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U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia - 1:20-cv-02023