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California Lawsuit Blocking President’s Order Excluding Undocumented Individuals from Census Heads to the US Supreme Court

LWV of the US and LWV of California, Texas, and Florida joined case supporting plaintiffs

SAN FRANCISCO —Late Thursday, a federal judge ruled in City of San Jose, California v. Trump that the president’s executive order to block undocumented individuals from being counted in the U.S. Census is unconstitutional. The League of Women Voters of the United States and Leagues of California, Texas, and Florida joined the case with an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the case. Today, City of San Jose, California v. Trump was appealed to the US Supreme Court, where it could join a similar case out of New York, New York Immigrant Coalition v. Trump.

“The League of Women Voters is gratified by today’s decision to uphold this country’s promise to count every person living in the United States,” said Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, board president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Important decisions in this nation regarding everyday services and strategic community planning require an accurate count of every individual. Critical decisions such as what infrastructure is needed, how many schools does a community need, where should hospitals be located depend on the number of people to be served. That’s why the Constitution requires that we count everyone. An undercount of our census in one community hurts all communities.” 

 “Today’s decision affirms the value of our immigrant communities in California,” said Stephanie Doute, executive director of the League of Women Voters of California. “Every single community in our state—and indeed in the entire country—benefits from the hard work of undocumented individuals in California. Removing undocumented people from California’s count is not only wrong—it criminally misrepresents California’s diverse, interdependent population.”

“Immigrant communities are a critical part of the diverse and vibrant fabric of Texas,” said Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. “We are grateful that the court sees the importance of counting each and every person living in our country. We all depend on each other, and when we exclude some of us, it means the resources we all depend upon will be compromised. The League of Women Voters of Texas stands by our immigrant communities.”

“The League is proud to stand with immigrant communities in Florida in affirming that every person counts,” said Patti Brigham, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “Attempts to exclude undocumented individuals from the census harm every Floridian. So many aspects of our daily lives are threatened by an accurate count, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that every Floridian counts.”

Representing the League on this case is Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

"Ensuring an accurate census and apportionment base is at the heart of our representative democracy," said Blaine Green, lead counsel on the case from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. "As we explained in our amicus brief for the League of Women Voters, effective and broad voter participation—which is the League’s primary mission—would be undermined by the Presidential Memorandum, reducing the apportionment base by excluding undocumented immigrants.  The federal court, in its thorough decision, recognized the Memorandum’s adverse impacts on federal funding (citing the League’s amicus) and congressional representation, and rightly found the Memorandum violates the Constitution and federal statutory law."

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CONTACT: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]