WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The United States Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday in the case of whether the Trump administration could exclude undocumented workers from the Census count.
The Court previously blocked the administration from adding a citizenship question to the document.
Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jefferey Wall said undocumented workers distort the data.
“The President has at least some discretion to determine that at least some illegal aliens lack enduring ties to the states,” Wall said Monday. He argued that counting undocumented immigrants will impact how congressional districts are drawn. Wall said states would be able to file lawsuits if seats are lost over the inclusion of undocumented immigrants.
Chief Justice John Roberts, however, was skeptical of Wall’s assessment.
“Isn’t that going to be like trying to unscramble eggs?” Roberts asked. “The apportionment; any change in ay one state is going to have ripple effects all across the country.”
A recent Pew Research survey reported California, Florida and Texas would each end up with one less congressional seat if undocumented workers are excluded from the count.
New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood and the ACLU argued the Census should include everyone because that is what the Constitution requires.
“Our laws reflect a deliberate choice not to base apportionment on citizenship, voter eligibility or any other legal status, but instead the total number of people living in the state,” said Underwood.
The Census is supposed to send the collected data to the President by December 31.