Note: The Brennan Center is not a participant in this case.
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.
On September 9, 2019, two additional groups were granted permission to intervene as defendants in the case—one group consisting of 15 states, the District of Columbia, 9 cities and counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the other group consisting of Arlington County, Virginia and the City of Atlanta, Georgia.
- 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)
- Defendants' Answer (July 19, 2019)
- Local Government Intervenors' Answer and Defenses to Plaintiffs' Complaint (July 19, 2019)
- Answer to Plaintiffs' Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, by Martinez Intervenors (July 19, 2019)
- Order (July 23, 2019)
- Opposed Motion for Leave to Intervene as Defendants (August 12, 2019)
- Proposed Defendant-Intervenors' Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motion for Leave to Intervene (August 12, 2019)
- Opposed Motion to Intervene and Memorandum in Support Thereof (August 12, 2019)
- Arlington County and Atlanta's Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Intervene (August 23, 2019)
- Movants' Reply Submission in Support of Motion to Intervene in Response to Exhibit B of the Court's Order (August 23, 2019)
- Joint Status Report (September 3, 2019)
- Memorandum Opinion (September 9, 2019)
- Initial Scheduling Order (September 9, 2019)
- First Amended Complaint (September 10, 2019)
- State and Other Defendant-Intervenors' Answer to First Amended Complaint (October 1, 2019)
- Defendants' Answer to First Amended Complaint (October 1, 2019)
- Local Government Intervenors' Answer and Defenses to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (October 1, 2019)
- Martinez Intervenors' Answer to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Cross-Claim Against Defendants (October 1, 2019)
- Defendants' Answer to Martinez Intervenors' Cross-Claim (December 2, 2019)
- Amended Scheduling Order (January 13, 2020)