The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday announced that it will review President Trump's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count, The Washington Post reported.
In July, the president issued a memorandum seeking to direct the Commerce Department, which oversees the U.S. Census, to collect data on undocumented immigrants and remove them from the census's final population totals.
The unprecedented proposal could have a significant effect on calculating how congressional seats are apportioned among the states, according to the Post. The 2020 Census count is critical for determining representation and the allocations of federally funded programs, including those in higher education.
The latest controversy involves the constitutional mandate that apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives be based on the "whole number of persons in each State," which has been interpreted to mean every resident, regardless of immigration status, reported the Post.
After the memorandum was published, a coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia, 15 cities and counties and the United States Conference of Mayors immediately sued the administration, arguing that excluding undocumented immigrants from the counts used to assign House seats is an unconstitutional power grab.
A three-judge panel in New York court blocked Trump's July 21 memorandum last month, and the administration took its case directly to the Supreme Court. The justices put the case on a fast track and said they will hold a hearing November 30.
Trump previously sought to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census but the Supreme Court last year ruled the effort violated administrative law.
The Washington Post