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Case Name Alabama v. United States Dep't of Commerce PB-AL-0018
Docket / Court 2:18-cv-00772 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
MALDEF
Case Summary
On May 21, 2018, Alabama and a representative from its Fifth Congressional District filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The case was assigned to District Judge R. David Proctor. The plaintiffs sued the United States Department of Commerce and the ... read more >
On May 21, 2018, Alabama and a representative from its Fifth Congressional District filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The case was assigned to District Judge R. David Proctor. The plaintiffs sued the United States Department of Commerce and the United States Census Bureau under the Actual Enumeration Clause of Article I Section 2 of the Constitution, the Congressional Apportionment and Electoral College Apportionment Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Declaratory Judgments Act. Represented by the Alabama Attorney General, the plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, alleging that the Census Bureau’s policy of including all U.S. residents in the census count totals used for apportioning congressional seats and electoral votes, regardless of residents' citizenship status, was unconstitutional. They specifically alleged that including undocumented individuals in the population count deprived Alabama of its “rightful share of political representation,” because it had fewer undocumented immigrants relative to other states. The state also alleged that counting undocumented individuals violated 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 plaintiff claimed that it was harmed when it received less federal funding than other states because of its relatively low level of undocumented immigrants, and further argued that the Bureau’s policy of counting undocumented individuals was “arbitrary and capricious” and “contrary to law” under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Over three dozen entities intervened as defendants, including 15 states, 6 counties, 9 cities, 2 organizations, 6 individuals, and the District of Columbia.

The Census Bureau moved to dismiss for lack of standing. The court, concluding that Alabama had adequately alleged Article III standing, dismissed the Bureau’s motion on June 5, 2019. 396 F.Supp.3d 1044.

On September 10, 2019, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, omitting its original claim that “the defendant’s decision to include illegal aliens in the census enumeration will likely cause the State of Alabama to lose federal and private funding.” On October 1, intervenor defendant Chicanos Por La Causa and six individuals filed a cross-claim against the federal government defendants, seeking a declaration that it would be unconstitutional for the Census Bureau to omit undocumented immigrants in the population totals it reports to the President and Congress for purposes of apportionment; an injunction barring the Census Bureau from reporting a tabulation omitting undocumented immigrants; and attorneys’ fees and costs.

As of June 23, 2020, dispositive motions are due by October 21, 2020.

Michael Beech - 02/09/2019
Bogyung Lim - 06/15/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) 15 States
6 Counties
9 Cities
Chicanos Por La Causa
District of Columbia
United States Census Bureau
United States Conference of Mayors
Plaintiff Description The State of Alabama and one of its representatives in Congress.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/21/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Alabama v. United States Dep’t of Commerce
Brennan Center
Date: February 11, 2019
(Brennan Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:18-cv-00772 (N.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-AL-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order Granting Motion to Intervene [ECF# 53] (N.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 84] (396 F.Supp.3d 1044) (N.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0018-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/05/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Proctor, R. David (N.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0002 | PB-AL-0018-0003 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brooks, Morris J. Jr. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Chynoweth, Brad A. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Davis, James William (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Lacour, Edward Gerard (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Marshall, Steven T. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Palmer, Eric Michael (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Sinclair, Winfield J. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-0001 | PB-AL-0018-9000
Smith, Brenton Merrill (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Blacksher, James U. (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Boutin, Gabrielle Downey (California) show/hide docs
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Colangelo, Matthew (New York) show/hide docs
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Cover, Miranda Mercedes (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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DeFever, Jeanne Nicole (Oregon) show/hide docs
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Dolecki, Lauren M. (New York) show/hide docs
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Goldstein, Elena Stacy (New York) show/hide docs
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Goldstein, Danielle Luce (California) show/hide docs
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Gomez Hernandez, Julia Alejandra (California) show/hide docs
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Hamid, Jyotin R. (New York) show/hide docs
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Hulett, Denise M. (California) show/hide docs
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Kusmin, Ryan M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Lynch, Ann E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Meyer, Amanda (New York) show/hide docs
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Morgan, Elizabeth (New York) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Mujumdar, Anil A. (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
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Quinones, Marcelo (California) show/hide docs
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Ragsdale, Barry A. (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Rajendra, Raphael N (California) show/hide docs
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Rand, Paul Hartmann (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Rosenberg, Brad P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Rosenberg, Ezra (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Saenz, Thomas A. (California) show/hide docs
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Saini, Ajay (New York) show/hide docs
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Segall, Robert D. (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Senteno, Andrea E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Spence, Dorian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Still, W Edward (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Sverdlov, Alexander V. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Thurston, Robin Frances (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Vance, Robert S. Jr. (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Vance, Joyce White (Alabama) show/hide docs
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Wardenski, Joseph (New York) show/hide docs
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Weissglass, Jonathan (California) show/hide docs
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Wise, R Matthew (California) show/hide docs
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Yang, Ming Ming (New York) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000
Williams, Stephen W. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PB-AL-0018-9000

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