Common Cause v. Trump

Common Cause v. Trump challenges President Trump’s Executive Order to exclude undocumented people from being counted in congressional district apportionment.

On July 21, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a memo describing his administration’s intent to implement a discriminatory and unconstitutional policy regarding the census. This memo directed the Secretary of Commercto provide the President with the information necessary to exclude undocumented people from being counted in upcoming congressional seat allocationsRead the memo here. 

On July 23, 2020, Common Cause sued the President in the D.C. federal District Court. We and our co-plaintiffs are challenging this transparent effort to deprive cities and communities with large immigrant populations of equal representation in Congress and to threaten their ability to access federal resources that rely on census dataRead the filed complaint here. 

The plain language of the law makes it clear that the President’s order is illegal. The 14th Amendment requires that the “whole number of persons in each state” be used to determine the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives, and federal law requires that the Secretary of Commerce send to the President the “tabulation of total population by states” and for the President to then send to Congress a statement showing the “whole number of persons” in each state.  

In addition to Common Cause, plaintiffs include the City of Atlanta (GA), the City of Patterson (NJ) Partnership for the Advancement of New Americansand individuals who would face diminished representational rights and suffer vote dilution if the President’s Executive Order stands.  

Plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to block this unconstitutional order, and to require the President to include all people within a state, regardless of immigration status, for the purpose of congressional apportionment. 

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.