Fourth time's the charm? Three federal courts have told the Trump administration that it's not OK to exclude undocumented immigrants from U.S. census counts. Today, the issue comes before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court is slated to hear oral arguments Monday in a case called Trump v. New York.
In July Trump issued a memorandum ordering the Census Bureau to send him two sets of numbers. The first set was for the whole number of persons in each state. And the second set — for apportionment of the number of seats in each state — was to subtract the number of undocumented immigrants from the total count.
As the memorandum candidly admitted, that might mean that California, for instance, would lose two congressional seats. Trump's stated aim was to "not reward" states where large numbers of undocumented immigrants live….
So far the president has lost his argument in three lower courts, with both Democratic and Republican-appointed judges ruling against him unanimously.
The law is clear — every single person is included in the census, and every single person is represented in Congress.
Undocumented immigrants are people — and nothing President Trump does or says changes that fact.
— ACLU (@ACLU) November 30, 2020
Legal blogger Amy Howe explains the SCOTUS stakes:
If the court upholds the plan and the administration is able to implement it before leaving office, the new method of apportioning House seats could shift political power away from states with large immigrant populations and toward states with fewer immigrants.
The Supreme Court will also consider a case today on federal hacking law.
In Van Buren v. United States, the Court will, for the first time, "weigh in on the wide range of digital conduct that is potentially criminalized under a federal anti-hacking law known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," explains James Romoser at SCOTUSBlog. More on that case here.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against a Republican challenge to mail-in ballots. "Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures," the court noted in its Saturday ruling. "Alternatively, Petitioners advocated the extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the General Election and instead 'direct the General Assembly to choose Pennsylvania's electors.'"
Could correcting the misalignment between who hands out prison sentences and who pays for them bring about better criminal justice outcomes? A new paper suggests yes:
In the US, states pay for incarceration but county-level officials (eg, judges) determine sentences
Incarceration rates fell dramatically in California after 1996, when a reform shifted the costs of incarceration (but not other responsibilities) from the state to the county. pic.twitter.com/wecns4jU82
— Journal of Public Economics (@JPubEcon) November 24, 2020
The reason big companies support regulations is because it lets them use government to squeeze out their competitors. Never forget that. https://t.co/dzGv0WJXHu
— Kat Murti (@KatMurti) November 30, 2020
Donald Trump has granted clemency to less than half of 1% of the more than 10,000 people who petitioned him for it through the end of the 2020 fiscal year (which ended Sept. 30), according to the Department of Justice. https://t.co/bfLiXjRPxh
— Pew Research Fact Tank (@FactTank) November 30, 2020
• "Nike and Coca-Cola are among the major companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China's Xinjiang region," reports The New York Times.
• For the fourth time, a California governor has blocked Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten from being paroled. Van Houten was 19 when she helped kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969.
• From victims of the Drug War to legal cannabis entrepreneurs…
• Another case of a police officer experiencing no consequences for extorting sex from folks he arrests.
• Local sheriffs are still opting out of enforcing state orders banning social gatherings.
• New York City will start opening schools again for in-person learning next week.
• People are suing Tecate beer for not being Mexican.