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Supreme Court enables Trump to exclude illegal aliens from 2020 census count

High court decision vacates two lower court rulings against Trump policy excluding illegal aliens from the population count on which apportionment of congressional seats is based.

Updated: December 29, 2020 - 9:26am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday vacated two lower court decisions that blocked the government from excluding illegal aliens during the process of allotting congressional seats.

The decision to remand the two cases to lower courts "with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction" follows a ruling by the high court earlier this month that allows the Trump administration to pursue plans to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented from the high court's ruling yesterday, just as they had in Trump v. New York earlier this month.

"A complete, accurate census is about ensuring all our voices are heard and that our states get their share of resources to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "We remain committed to the core principle that everyone counts. Here in California, we'll continue to stand up for each and every person who calls our state home."

While the Supreme Court's Dec. 18 decision will allow the Trump administration to pursue the policy of excluding illegal aliens from the apportionment base, the ruling stated: "Consistent with our determination that standing has not been shown and that the case is not ripe, we express no view on the merits of the constitutional and related statutory claims presented. We hold only that they are not suitable for adjudication at this time."

President Trump in a July memorandum laid out a policy against including illegal aliens in the apportionment base following the 2020 census. "States adopting policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country and that hobble Federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws passed by the Congress should not be rewarded with greater representation in the House of Representatives," the memorandum stated.