Alabama v. United States Dep’t of Commerce
The State of Alabama filed a lawsuit against the Commerce Department and Census Bureau, challenging the Bureau’s policy of including all U.S. residents in the Census count used for apportionment.
This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
The State of Alabama and Congressman Morris J. Brooks Jr. are challenging the Census Bureau’s policy of including all U.S. residents, regardless of their citizenship status, in the census count totals used for apportioning congressional seats and electoral college votes.
The suit argues that including undocumented individuals in the population count will deprive Alabama of its “rightful share of political representation,” as well as cause the state to lose a congressional seat and an electoral vote to a state with a higher number of undocumented individuals. The state contends that counting undocumented individuals violates the Constitution’s provisions governing congressional apportionment and the electoral college, as well as the federal government’s constitutional duty to conduct an “actual enumeration” of the population. The suit further argues that the policy of counting undocumented individuals is “arbitrary and capricious” and “contrary to law” under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
The state is asking the court, among other things, to bar the Bureau from pursuing a total population count for apportioning congressional seats and electoral votes and to declare unconstitutional any apportionment of seats and votes based on total population.
On December 13, 2018 two groups - one consisting of the City of San Jose (California), King County (Washington), and the County of Santa Clara (California), and the other consisting of Chicanos Por La Causa and several individuals - were granted permission to intervene.
On June 5, 2019, the court denied the federal government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, allowing the Plaintiffs to proceed with their claim that including undocumented individuals in the population count used for congressional apportionment violates federal law.
- Complaint (May 21, 2018)
- Motion to Intervene by Diana Martinez, et al. (July 12, 2018)
- Motion to Intervene by City of San Jose and King County (July 17, 2018)
- Department of Justice's Response to Motions to Intervene (July 20, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Opposition to the Motion to Intervene (July 20, 2018)
- Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (November 13, 2018)
- Joint Status Report (November 27, 2018)
- Memorandum Opinion (December 13, 2018)
- Order (December 13, 2018)
- Local Government Intervenors' Supplemental Memorandum (January 4, 2019)
- Martinez Defendant-Intervenors' Supplemental Memorandum (January 4, 2019)
- Status Report (February 1, 2019)
- Martinez Defendant-Intervenors' Reply in Support of Supplemental Memorandum (February 1, 2019)
- Order (February 4, 2019)
- Amicus Brief of Immigration Reform Law Institute in Support of Plaintiffs and in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (February 22, 2019)
- Defendants' Reply to Motion to Dismiss (February 25, 2019)
- Scheduling Order (May 3, 2019)
- Memorandum Opinion (June 5, 2019)