Justices to weigh census exclusion
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up President Trump’s policy, blocked by a lower court, to exclude people living in the U.S. illegally from the census count that will be used to allocate seats in the House of Representatives.
Never in U.S. history have immigrants been excluded from the population count that determines how House seats, and by extension Electoral College votes, are divided among the states, a threejudge federal count said in September when it held Trump’s policy illegal.
The justices put the case on a fast track, setting arguments for Nov. 30. A decision is expected by the end of the year or early in January, when Trump has to report census numbers to the House.
Trump’s high court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, could take part in the case if, as seems likely, she is confirmed by then.
Last year, the court by a 54 vote barred Trump from adding a census question asking people about their citizenship. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month, was part of that majority. Barrett would take Ginsburg’s seat.
The outcome of the case could affect the distribution of political power for the next 10 years. The census also helps determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding annually.