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Case Name Common Cause v. Trump IM-DC-0084
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02023 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On July 21 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum titled “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” This memorandum included instructions to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state-population totals in the 2020 Census, and therefore exclude them ... read more >
On July 21 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum titled “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” This memorandum included instructions to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state-population totals in the 2020 Census, and therefore exclude them from being counted when apportioning seats in the US House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College. Two days later, on July 23, Common Cause, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, the cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Paterson, New Jersey, and several individuals from New York and Florida filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sued President Trump, the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of the Census and various government officials (Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Bureau of the Census) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the memorandum violated Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief against implementation of the memorandum, as well as attorney’s fees and costs. In addition, they requested a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the memorandum and to require the President to include all people, regardless of immigration status, when counting people for the purposes of congressional apportionment. The case was to Judge Christopher R. Cooper.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the memorandum violated Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution which requires “counting the whole number of persons in each state” and violated their right to Equal Protection by diminishing the representation of the plaintiffs and discriminating against those racial groups who have a higher number of immigrants within their voting population. The plaintiffs further contended that this memorandum violated the statutes which dictating how the census should operate. 13 U.S.C. § 141(b) and States 2 U.S.C. § 2a(a) requires the Secretary of Commerce to transmit to the President and requires the President to transmit to Congress “a statement showing the whole number of persons in each State”. The plaintiffs alleged they will suffer injury due to vote dilution, diminished representation, racial discrimination, census undercount, loss of government funds, and harm to the organizational missions of the advocacy groups if this memorandum is allowed to be implemented.

The plaintiffs amended the complaint on August 11 and again on September 18 to add additional cities, advocacy groups, and individuals as plaintiffs. The plaintiffs requested a three judge panel and their motion was granted on August 20. Circuit Judge Gregory G. Katsas and District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich were designated to serve with District Judge Christopher R. Cooper to hear and determine this case. Judge Katsas presided.

On August 19, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment, or in the alternative to expedite the trial. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on September 2. As of September 25 the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement and the defendants’ motion to dismiss were still pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, with a hearing scheduled for September 29. This case is ongoing.

Tessa McEvoy - 09/25/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Funding
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Voting
Immigration/Border
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Bureau of the Census
Department of Commerce
Donald J Trump
Steven Dillingham
Wilbur L Ross Jr.
Plaintiff Description Common Cause City of Atlanta, GA City of Clarkson, GA City of Dayton, OH City of El Paso, TX City of Paterson, NJ City of Portland, OR City of Santa Monica, CA City of South Pasadena, CA El Monte Union High School District Center for Civic Policy, Albuquerque, NM Various organizations and advocacy groups: MASA New Jersey Citizen Action New Mexico Asian Family Center NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans 24 individuals from CA, FL, NJ and TX
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/23/2020
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)
  The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
Youtube.com
Date: Sep. 29, 2020
By: The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Common Cause v. Trump
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law
Date: Aug. 27, 2020
By: Brennan Center for Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Common Cause v. Trump
Common Cause
Date: Jul. 23, 2020
By: Common Cause
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  2020 Census Litigation
(The Brennan Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
09/11/2020
1:20-cv-02023
IM-DC-0084-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
07/23/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0084-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/19/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, or in the Alternative, Expedited Trial on the Merits [ECF# 31-1]
IM-DC-0084-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/26/2020
Brief of the U.S. House of Representatives as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs [ECF# 45-1]
IM-DC-0084-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
09/18/2020
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 69-1]
IM-DC-0084-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bondurant, Emmet J. II (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-0004
Cho, J. Jay (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Diskant, Gregory L. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-0004 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Fischer, Aron (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-0004 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Hercher, Devon (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Kimberly, Michael B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0004
Kisch, Ethan (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Knobler, Jonah M. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-0004 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Marion, Abigail E (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Nelson, Peter A. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Ruzumna, Daniel Seth (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0001 | IM-DC-0084-0002 | IM-DC-0084-0004 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Elliott M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Rosenberg, Brad P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Other Lawyers Amler, James B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Backer, Jonathan L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Barbero, Megan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Brown, Randi Kira (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Clary, Richard W, (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Ganapathy, Tara (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Geltzer, Joshua A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Gorod, Brianne J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Grogg, Adam Anderson (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Havemann, William Ernest (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Katyal, Neal Kumar (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Letter, Douglas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003 | IM-DC-0084-9000
Marshak, Amy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
McCord, Mary B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Morse, Josephine T (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Nelson, Katherine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
O'Neil, David A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
O'Neill, Laura E (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Owens, Annie L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Robertson, Cynthia C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Safstrom, Jennifer (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Schwartz, Jonathan B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Southwell, Alexander H. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000
Tatelman, Todd B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-0003
Wesneski, Joshua Morgan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0084-9000

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