Alabama sues federal government over census

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Alabama could potentially lose a seat and vote in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census is collected, if the census includes people living in the country illegally.

Maryam Stevenson, J.D., Ph.D, an assistant professor of political science at Troy University, said that the problem is that the bureau has already been counting noncitizens and that this argument is not anything new.

“It is up to the court to determine and interpret whether under the constitution if the census should include illegal immigrants or not,” Stevenson said. “But if it was going to affect our numbers or anything, it would have already happened.”

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Attorney General Steve Marshall and U.S. Rep. Morris “Mo” Brooks have jointly filed a lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“This will most likely be heard by the Supreme Court,” Stevenson said.

The Census Bureau currently states that, “all people (citizens and noncitizens) with a usual residence in the 50 states are to be included in the census and thus in the apportionment counts.”

“In my opinion, the meat of this lawsuit is stated in section six,” Stevenson said.

Section six of the lawsuit states that, “the Residence Rule is unlawful,” according to section two of the fourteenth amendment.

Stevenson said that the question the government will be asked now, “so what does ‘whole persons’ mean?”

According to the press release, the lawsuit is to block the rule that includes a population count of people living in the country illegally.

“If the U.S. Census Bureau follows through with its plan to include illegal aliens in the 2020 census for purposes of apportionment, Alabama will lose both a seat in the U.S. House of Representative and a vote in the Electoral College,” said Attorney General Marshall.

Currently the U.S House of Representatives has seven Alabama seats and nine votes in the Electoral.

“Congressional seats should be apportioned based on the population of American citizens, not illegal aliens,” said U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks. “After all, this is America, not the United Nations… The loss of an Alabama Congressional seat will be a huge loss in Alabama’s political influence and will diminish Alabama’s influence in Congress and its importance in presidential elections.”

Alabama now joins the 17 other states who are suing the government over the citizenship question, declaring it unconstitutional.

“If the lawsuit goes the way they (Alabama) want it,” Stevenson said. “Then it could be good for Alabama.”