Common Cause Files for Expedited Review & Summary Judgment in Challenge to Trump’s Directive to Omit Undocumented Immigrants in Census Apportionment Calculations

Tonight, Common Cause filed motions for expedited review and summary judgment in its challenge to President Trump’s memorandum requiring the exclusion of undocumented people from being counted in the congressional apportionment base following the 2020 census.  Should the court find summary judgment unavailable, Common Cause moved in the alternative for an expedited trial on the merits. The motions filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Common Cause v. Trump urge the court to expedite proceedings so that a final judgment and appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court can be completed before January  2021, when the President is scheduled to send apportionment numbers to Congress.

“From the ratification of the U.S. Constitution until today, no person has ever been excluded from the Census or the congressional apportionment base because of citizenship or compliance with immigration laws,” said Dan Vicuna, Common Cause National Redistricting Manager. “The courts must act quickly to prevent the President’s directive from wreaking havoc with the apportionment process.”

“The White House directive is nothing more than an attempted end-run around the United States Constitution sprung on an unsuspecting nation in the final months of the multi-year census process,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause. “The harm to millions of Americans that would occur if this unconstitutional directive is not struck down by the courts is very real.”

Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment that the Administration’s actions violate the Constitution and federal statutes, as well as an injunction to block this unconstitutional order, and to require the President to count all people within a state, regardless of immigration status, for the purpose of congressional apportionment—as has been the case for every congressional apportionment since the Constitution was ratified.

The full list of Plaintiffs include: Common Cause, the cities of Atlanta, Georgia; Dayton, Ohio; Paterson, New Jersey; and Portland, Oregon; the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans; the Center for Civic Policy; Masa; New Jersey Citizen Action; New Mexico Asian Family Center; New Mexico Comunidades en Acción y de Fé; and 23 individual Latino, African American, Asian American and other voters from California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

Plaintiffs are represented by Emmet J. Bondurant of Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP; Gregory L. Diskant, Daniel S. Ruzumna, Aron Fischer, and Jonah M. Knobler of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; and Michael B. Kimberly of McDermott Will & Emery.

To read the motion for summary judgment, click here.

To read the motion for expedited review, click here.