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2nd Court Blocks Trump's Push To Change How The Census Is Counted Ahead Of Supreme Court Review

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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A second federal court has blocked the Trump administration's attempt to make an unprecedented change to who is counted in the census numbers that determine each state's share of seats in Congress.

A three-judge panel — which includes 9th Circuit Judge Richard Clifton, as well as U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh and Judge Edward Chen in Northern California — issued the new court order Thursday.

The decision comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to speed up its review of the administration's push. The justices are set to hear arguments Nov. 30 for an appeal of an earlier ruling by a lower court in New York. Last month, that court ruled against a memo issued by President Trump that calls for excluding unauthorized immigrants from the numbers used for reapportioning seats in the House of Representatives, despite the 14th Amendment's requirement to include the "whole number of persons in each state."

The court in New York found the memo to be an illegal overreach of Trump's limited authority that Congress has delegated to the president, who, under federal law, is required to deliver to lawmakers "a statement showing the whole number of persons in each State" based on the census.

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The U.S. census numbers used to reallocate House seats have included both citizens and noncitizens, regardless of immigration status, since the first national count in 1790.

Read the order: City of San Jose v. Donald J. Trump


As Caroline Champlin, who has been covering the census for LAist, has reported:

The state is home to an estimated 2 million such immigrants. So the Trump Administration's push to leave those residents out — if successful — would have major implications when Congressional seats are divided. That's because those seats are allocated according to state populations.

Claremont McKenna College researcher Doug Johnson projects a loss of four more seats, on top of the seats the state is already expected to give up because of our slowing population growth, if Trump is successful in changing how people are counted.


What's at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census? Billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like Medi-Cal, for public education, even disaster planning. Political representation in Sacramento and D.C. A census undercount could cut critical resources in L.A. County, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation.

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