University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name States v. U.S. Department of Commerce PB-NY-0032
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-02921-JMF ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
This was a legal challenge brought by an alliance of states, counties, and municipalities to the Trump administration’s proposed inclusion of a question about citizenship status on the 2020 U.S. Census. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on April 3, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern ... read more >
This was a legal challenge brought by an alliance of states, counties, and municipalities to the Trump administration’s proposed inclusion of a question about citizenship status on the 2020 U.S. Census. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on April 3, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs alleged that the federal government, by asking census participants about their citizenship status, would deter undocumented immigrants from participating in the census out of a fear of possible government reprisal, thus hurting the accuracy of census counts. According to the plaintiffs, this meant that the federal government was both shirking its duty under the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Sec. 2, Cl. 3) to conduct an “actual enumeration” of the “whole number of persons” and violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). They added that if the census numbers were kept artificially low, a number of public benefits would be jeopardized: federal funding for social services and infrastructure, numerically adequate representation in the House of Representatives, and public and private resources for immigrant communities.

The Department of Commerce (DOC) moved to dismiss the complaint on May 25, 2018. It principally argued that: 1) the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring a lawsuit because their alleged injuries were too speculative and failed to allege that they were caused by the proposed citizenship question; 2) the decision over what questions to include in the census questionnaire is solely within the agency’s discretion; 3) the Enumeration Clause does not contain any restrictions on the form of the census questionnaire; and 4) even conceding the previous three arguments, the agency’s decision to include a citizenship question would not violate the APA, the Enumeration Clause, or any other law.

On June 6, 2018, an alliance of immigration advocacy non-profits filed a separate lawsuit in the same court (District Judge Jesse M. Furman), making the same legal claims as the plaintiffs, save for adding a Fifth Amendment equal protection claim. That case is in the Clearinghouse, here. On June 13, 2018, after the parties conferred on a possible consolidation of the two cases, Judge Furman ordered that they coordinated and consolidated for the purposes of case management and discovery, while deferring the question of formal consolidation.

On June 26, 2018, pursuant to an order from Judge Furman, the parties filed opposing letter brief on whether and to what extent discovery outside of the administrative record should be permitted. The plaintiffs argued that their allegations of bad-faith decision making and the need to explain complex subject matter made extra-record discovery appropriate. The Department of Commerce, for its part, rebutted by asserting that discovery would be inappropriate in an action challenging an agency decision. After hearing oral arguments on this issue on July 3, Judge Furman sided with the plaintiffs.

In an opinion issued on July 26, 2018 addressing both this case and the other case brought by the NGO plaintiffs, Judge Furman allowed the plaintiffs’ APA claims and the NGO plaintiffs’ equal protection claims to proceed, while dismissing the Enumeration Clause claim. He rejected in full the government’s arguments that the court lacked jurisdiction; he explained that although the DOC was entitled to deference as to which questions to include on the census, that did not mean that the DOC’s decisions were totally insulated from judicial review. Addressing the NGO plaintiffs’ equal protection claim, he found that they had plausibly alleged that the DOC’s decision to include a citizenship question was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory animus and would lead to discriminatory effects. At the same time, he rejected the plaintiffs' Enumeration Clause claim, concluding that the citizenship question was a permissible (although not mandated) exercise of Congress’s--and, by extension, the DOC’s--broad power under the Clause.

As of August 3, 2018, the case is still ongoing.

Alexander Walling - 08/03/2018


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Confidentiality
Disparate Impact
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Immigration/Border
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Defendant(s) Department of Commerce
Plaintiff Description An alliance of U.S. states, counties, and municipalities.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-NY-0033 : New York Immigration Coalition v. U.S. Department of Commerce (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-02921 (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0032-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 10]
PB-NY-0032-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-NY-0032-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 214]
PB-NY-0032-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 215] (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0032-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Furman, Jesse Matthew (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0032-0004 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Apter, Rachel Wainer (New Jersey)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Baker-Morrish, Lara (Ohio)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Balderas, Hector (New Mexico)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Bass Ehler, Karyn L. (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Battles, Benjamin D. (Vermont)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Bauer, Andrew B. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Bender, Robyn R. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Bernal, Jo Anne (Texas)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Blake, Nathanael (Iowa)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Brannon, Sarah (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Campion, Jacob (Minnesota)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Carter, Zachary W. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Cherry, Ceridwen (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Clinton, Laura K. (Washington)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Coglianese, Richard N. (Ohio)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Colangelo, Matthew B. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Cover, Miranda Mercedes (Massachusetts)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Dana, Jeffery (Rhode Island)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
de Haan, Brian Alexander (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Denn, Matthew P. (Delaware)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Donovan, Thomas J. Jr. (Vermont)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Dunn, Christopher (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Eisenberg, Arthur (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Ewing, Eleanor N. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Field, Benjamin H. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Finkelstein, Alex (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Fischer, Michael J. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Flynn, Ronald P. (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Freedman, John A. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Frosh, Brian E. (Maryland)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Gersch, David P. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Goldman, Jonathan Scott (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Goldstein, Elena Stacy (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Grewal, Gurbir S. (New Jersey)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Grimm, John Robert (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Grimm, Robert J. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Grossman, Perry M. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Gupta, Neha (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Hausman, David (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Healey, Maura T. (Massachusetts)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Hendrickson, John C. (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Hendrickson, Cara (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Herrera, Dennis J. (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Herring, Mark R. (Virginia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Hickenlooper, John W. (Colorado)
PB-NY-0032-0003
Hilton, Yvonne (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Ho, Dale E. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Holmes, Peter S. (Washington)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Jacobson, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Jenerette, Tonya (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Jepsen, George (Connecticut)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Jerzyk, Matthew T. (Rhode Island)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Jones, Robert Stanton (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Kaplan, Scott J. (Oregon)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Kaplan, Ian Russell (Texas)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Katz, Nicholas (Maryland)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Kelly, Caroline D. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Khalaf, Samer E. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Khan, Sania (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Kilmartin, Peter F. (Rhode Island)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Kirshon, Ilona (Delaware)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Klein, Zachary M (Ohio)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Kohler, Mark F. (Connecticut)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Krishnan, Sabita Lakshmi (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Kuka, Erin Lee (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Lao-Scott, Christine G. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Lee, Mollie M. (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Litt, William Merrill (California)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Lucas, Diane (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Lynch, Ann E. (Massachusetts)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Lyons, David J. (Delaware)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Madigan, Lisa (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Maestas, Tania (New Mexico)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Martin, Matthew J. (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
McGuire, Matthew R. (Virginia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
McHale, Matthew S. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
McKee, Charles J (California)
PB-NY-0032-0003
Melmed, Jacki Cooper (Colorado)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Mere, Yvonne Rosil (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Miller, Jonathan B. (Massachusetts)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Mine, Andrew S. (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Morgan, Elizabeth (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Nannery, Valerie M (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Park, Ryan Young (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Pfautz, Michael Wu-Kung (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Pickerill, Alexandra (Ohio)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Pratt, Marcel S. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Racine, Karl A. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Raines, Chase R, (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Reaves, John Daniel (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Rios, Rolando Leo (Texas)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Roach, Adam D. (Rhode Island)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Rosado, Lourdes Maria (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Rosborough, Davin (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Rosenblum, Ellen F. (Oregon)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Rubel, Eric A. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Rubin, Gail (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Saini, Ajay (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Schneiderman, Eric T. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Shapiro, Josh (Pennsylvania)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Siskel, Edward N. (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Smith, Jesse C. (California)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Smith, Gary T. (Washington)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Sobota, Margaret (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Starzec, Christie (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Stein, Josh (North Carolina)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Swanson, Lori (Minnesota)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Theodore, Elisabeth S. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Thompson, Julio A. (Vermont)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
VanDam, Jeff (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003
Weiner, David J. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Wood, Laura Jane (New York)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Wootton, Barbara H. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Worseck, Andrew W (Illinois)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Young, Dylan S. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bailey, Kate (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Boland, Patricia Jean (Arizona)
PB-NY-0032-0003 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Ehrlich, Stephen (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Federighi, Carol (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Gans, David H. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Park, Michael H. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Tarczynska, Dominika Natalia (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Tomlinson, Martin (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Other Lawyers Adams, Rory Edward (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Case, Andrew (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Cho, Dustin (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Duke, Peter Benjamin DeWitt (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Duraiswamy, Shankar (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Ferrara, Christopher A. (New Jersey)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Grant, Daniel (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Guehenno, Claire M. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-0002 | PB-NY-0032-9000
Hernandez, Julia Alejandra Gomez (California)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Hobel, Lawrence (California)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Libby, John F. (California)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Mansingham, Mithun (Oklahoma)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Nunes, Bianca (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Petrossian, Emil (California)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Senteno, Andrea E. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Shah, Niyati (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Thomas, Tina (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000
Tilak, Karun A. (District of Columbia)
PB-NY-0032-9000

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