Press release on August 10, 2020:
Howard County today issued the followed statement after joining a coalition that filed a motion for partial summary judgment or, in the alternative, a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit to halt President Donald Trump’s efforts to illegally leave millions of undocumented immigrants out of the congressional apportionment base following the conclusion of the 2020 Decennial Census.
“We are determined to ensure that all of our residents count – no matter their immigration status – toward congressional apportionment following the 2020 Census,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “For every person not counted in the Census, our residents lose out on $18,000 in federal funding for critical programs for our schools, healthcare, infrastructure, and more at a time when education, health, and our quality of life should be a priority. This administration’s continuous onslaught of unconstitutional policies violates the standards of the Census process, attempts to dismantle the foundation of our representative democracy, and hurts needed funding for our community.”
Last week, Howard County joined a coalition of states, cities, and counties from across the country, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, to file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for continuing attempts to illegally leave millions out of the apportionment base that establishes the number of members in the House of Representatives that each state receives. The lawsuit seeks to stop the Trump Administration from politicizing the census and violating basic constitutional and statutory commands, and instead aims to ensure the administration counts the “whole number of persons” residing in the country for apportionment, as the U.S. Constitution unambiguously requires.
The Fourteenth Amendment clearly states that “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State…” The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment deliberately chose the phrase “whole number of persons” to refer to all persons living in each state — including the entire immigrant population. More than 150 years of history, practice, and judicial and administrative precedents have since further confirmed that the apportionment of representatives must be based on all persons living in each state, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
Today’s motion was filed by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The attorneys general are joined by the cities of Central Falls, RI; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; Seattle, WA; and the city and county of San Francisco. Additionally, Cameron, El Paso, and Hidalgo Counties in Texas; and Monterey County in California joined the lawsuit; as did the U.S. Conference of Mayors.