Gerrymander Gazette: Common Cause v. Trump Update

A couple of months ago, Common Cause and our co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s illegal action to distort the census count for political purposes. In Common Cause et al. v. Trump, we argue that the president’s July 21 memo seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants living in the United States from the census population count used for congressional apportionment violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.

Recent Updates
One update we are excited to pass along about our case is that we now have a hearing date. Oral arguments will take place on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:30 am PT/9:30 am ET. You can listen to a livestream here.

Last week, we filed a reply brief supporting summary judgment in our favor and opposing the government’s motion to dismiss the case. In addition, we filed a second amended complaint adding new plaintiffs: the El Monte (CA) Union High School District and the cities of Clarkston (GA), El Paso (TX), Santa Monica (CA), and South Pasadena (CA). We’re thrilled to welcome these jurisdictions to this important case and thank them for taking a stand.

Other Census Cases
We also saw some important developments in a separate case, New York v. Trump, challenging the president’s memo. On September 10, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and issued an injunction against the Trump Administration. The government then filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and moved for a stay of the court’s injunction, claiming harm because they are unable to implement the president’s memo. In our case, the Trump Administration argues that it is unsure about whether and how it will implement that same memo. How the Trump Administration can be harmed by being stopped from doing something it claims it can’t figure out how to do is a curious contradiction that we pointed out in last week’s filing.

There are also cases challenging the Census Bureau’s announcement that it will cease operations by September 30. This sudden decision to stop the count a month earlier than originally anticipated risks a faulty census that significantly undercounts wide swaths of the population. In National Urban League v. Ross, Judge Lucy Koh in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order and an extension of that order preventing the Bureau from implementing this plan. Congratulations to the Brennan Center and the Lawyers’ Committee, who are litigating the case, on this important step forward. A hearing in this case is taking place today at 2:00 pm PT/5:00 pm ET. Yesterday, a three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland held a hearing in La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) v. Trump on a temporary restraining order motion seeking similar relief filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and MALDEF.

This newsletter has been produced by Common Cause and compiled by Dan Vicuna. Subscribe to the Gerrymander Gazette here. For more information or to pass along news, contact Dan Vicuna.

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