A panel of federal judges said no on Thursday to an effort by the Trump administration to exclude undocumented immigrants from being included in population counts when congressional seats are apportioned, Reuters reported.
President Donald Trump, for his part, was trying to ensure that only American citizens and legal residents receive representation in Congress. But the judges unanimously shot that idea down, according to The Hill.
Judges say no
Trump first began this fight last year, when, according to The Hill, “the Supreme Court blocked the president’s effort to add a citizenship question to the census, ruling that the administration’s stated rationale for the move was ‘contrived.'”
Unable to alter the census itself, Trump opted to issue a directive in July that barred undocumented immigrants from being included in “each state’s population when calculating the apportionment of congressional seats,” The Hill reported.
It was on Thursday that a special three-judge panel, made up of Circuit Judges Richard Wesley and Peter Hall and District Judge Jesse Furman, decided that directive was unconstitutional, Reuters reported.
The judges said in their ruling that “[t]he President is not free to substitute his own view of what is most ‘consonant with the principles of representative democracy’ for the view that Congress already chose,” The Hill reported.
“The President must act in accordance with, and within the boundaries of, the authority that Congress has granted,” the judges added, according to Reuters. “We conclude that the President did not do so.”
Dems claim victory
The decision marks a devastating blow to Trump and anyone who wants congressional seats to be apportioned fairly. Times have changed in 1790 when the census was first taken — and our methodology needs to change with it.
It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration will challenge the decision. As of the latest reporting, the White House has declined to comment on the matter.
Reuters notes that they could appeal to the Supreme Court.
For now, liberals are rejoicing in their apparent victory.
“President Trump’s repeated attempts to hinder, impair, and prejudice an accurate census and the subsequent apportionment have failed once again,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said of the decision, according to Reuters.