RICHMOND (August 10, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of state attorneys general in filing a motion for partial summary judgment or, alternatively, a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit to block President Trump’s attempts to, once again, illegally leave millions out of the population that is counted establishing the number of members in the House of Representatives that each state receives.
“This is the second time that President Trump has attempted to sabotage the census and illegally exclude millions from being counted,” said Attorney General Herring. “The number of people who are counted as part of the census directly impacts the number of Congressional representatives each state has and every single person living in Virginia and across the country deserves to be included and represented. I will continue to try and block every one of the Trump Administration’s illegal attempts to politicize and undermine the census.”
Last month, Attorney General Herring and a coalition of states, cities and counties filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the Trump Administration from politicizing the census and violating basic constitutional commands, and aiming instead 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.
Previously, Attorney General Herring successfully blocked the Trump Administration’s attempts to sabotage the census with a poison pill citizenship inquiry that was clearly designed to suppress response rates especially among immigrant communities. Attorney General Herring and his colleagues sued the Department of Commerce in April 2018 to protect the census, and successfully argued that the Trump Administration was not being honest about its motivations for including a citizenship question.
Joining Attorney General Herring in filing this motion are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, 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; Howard County in Maryland; and Monterey County in California joined the lawsuit; as did the U.S. Conference of Mayors.