University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name La Unión Del Pueblo Entero v. Trump PB-MD-0008
Docket / Court 8:19-cv-02710-GJH ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
MALDEF
Case Summary
This case challenged President Trump’s Executive Order 13880 directing the Census Bureau to collect citizenship data from administrative records and distribute that data to states in connection with the 2020 decennial census for redistricting. La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a nonprofit ... read more >
This case challenged President Trump’s Executive Order 13880 directing the Census Bureau to collect citizenship data from administrative records and distribute that data to states in connection with the 2020 decennial census for redistricting. La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a nonprofit committed to community organizing and civic engagement in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and Promise Arizona (PAZ), a faith-based nonprofit working to build Latino and immigrant political power, and two residents of Texas who identify as Latinas filed this suit on September 13, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. They sued the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Census Bureau under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and 42 U.S.C. § 1985.

Represented by Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that the directive to collect citizenship data was made in excess of legal authority and without following proper procedure in violation of the APA, violated the Equal Protection Clause, and was part of a conspiracy to violate civil rights under § 1985. Specifically, they argued that this policy was motivated by a racially discriminatory scheme to reduce Latino political representation and increase the over-representation of non-Latino Whites by disadvantaging Latino voters. The plaintiffs also contended that the directive failed to comply with federal regulations and did not provide an adequate rationale for collecting and producing the citizenship data.

The case was assigned to District Judge George Jarrod Hazel, because he had presided over a similar case dealing with the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census (Kravitz v. U.S. Dep’t of Commerce, 8:18-cv-01041-GJH).

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on October 9, 2019. This complaint added three individual plaintiffs, two Asian American individuals living in Texas and Arizona and a Latina individual living in Washington. They did so because these individuals lived in states where lawmakers had expressed an interest and desire to citizenship data for drawing congressional and state legislative redistricting plans in 2021.

On October 11, 2019, the defendants filed a motion to un-relate and reassign the case from Kravitz. They argued that the case was unrelated to Kravitz because this case only concerned the executive order to gather citizenship data from administrative records rather than including a citizenship question on the Census. They asserted that the cases did not involve identical parties and there would not be a duplication of labor if the case was heard by a different judge. On November 13, 2019, Judge Hazel adopted the defendants’ reasoning and ruled that the case should be randomly assigned. As a result, the case was reassigned to Judge Paula Xinis.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case on December 18, 2019. They argued that the individual and organizational plaintiffs lacked standing and their claims were not ripe because they alleged uncertain future harms. They further asserted that presidential action cannot be subject to APA review, and the plaintiffs’ failed to state an equal protection claim or a cause of action under § 1985. In response, the plaintiffs filed a motion in opposition on January 9, 2020.

Due to COVID-19, not much happened in the case over the next few months. On July 22, 2020, the court granted the plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss as moot. The plaintiffs filed their second amended complaint on August 13, 2020, stating new facts, asserting new claims, and adding new plaintiffs. They alleged that since the first amended complaint was filed, the defendants further tried to implement their plan to diminish minority political power and representation. Via presidential memorandum, the defendants announced their plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count of persons for the purposes of allocating congressional seats to states—this would reduce the number of House of Representatives seats and Electoral College votes apportioned to states with high populations of Latinos and Asian Americans. The plaintiffs also asserted that the defendants were ending the field collection of data for the Census one month early even though an estimated 60 million households remained uncounted, a disproportionately large number of whom were from communities of immigrants, Latinos, Asian Americans, and other people of color. To address the new facts, the complaint added the claim that the defendants’ directive violated the Enumeration Clause and Fourteenth Amendment because all persons in each state, regardless of citizenship status, must be counted for congressional apportionment. They additionally alleged ultra vires claims under 2 U.S.C. § 2a and 13 U.S.C. § 141, asserting that President Trump did not have the authority to direct the Secretary of Commerce to calculate congressional allocation other than through the Census data. The new complaint also included 25 additional individual plaintiffs from different states across the country and two additional nonprofits, The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the Organization of Chinese Americans-Greater Houston (OCA-GH).

On August 17, 2020, Judge Xinis sent a letter to Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, requesting the appointment of a three-judge panel to hear the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a). Section 2284(a) provides that a district court of three judges shall be convened when an action challenges the constitutionality of the apportionment of congressional districts. Chief Judge Gregory assigned District Judge Ellen L. Hollander and Circuit Judge Pamela A. Harris to convene on the panel with Judge Xinis on August 26.

The plaintiffs sought an emergency motion for temporary restraining order on September 1, 2020 to stop the defendants’ “Replan” to cease Census field operations on September 30. Census field operations would thus be shortened by four months which the plaintiffs contended was the defendants’ latest attempt to exclude certain minority groups from the Census, violating the Enumeration Clause. They further asserted that the resulting undercount would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs, including the loss of political representation at multiple levels and federal funding for public services. Finally, they argued the court should grant injunctive relief because the broader public interest outweighed the defendants’ desire to complete the Census as rapidly as possible.

On September 11, 2020, the defendants filed a response to the preliminary injunction motion arguing that the plaintiffs’ motion was barred by the political question doctrine which excludes from judicial review controversies around policy choices constitutionally decided by Congress or the Executive Branch. They stated that Congress delegated broad authority to the Secretary of Commerce to decide how to conduct the Census. The defendants also claimed the plaintiffs lacked standing because Article III of the Constitution prevented the judicial process from being used to usurp the powers of the political branches. They further argued the plaintiffs could not prevail on their Enumeration Clause claim and they did not satisfy the other preliminary injunction factors, establishing imminent and irreparable harm and showing that public interest weighed in favor of an injunction.

After the plaintiffs moved to stop the Replan, on September 24, 2020, in parallel litigation in the Northern District of California, that district court preliminarily enjoined the Replan’s deadlines and ordered the Census Bureau to continue its field operations (Nat’l Urban League v. Ross, No. 20-cv-5799-LHK). As a result, the Bureau maintained its field operations until October 13 and announced it had enumerated 99.9% of the nation’s housing units. The Bureau announced it would end field operations on October 15. Accordingly, the three-judge panel issued a letter order on October 14, 2020, dismissing the plaintiffs’ emergency motion as moot. Although the plaintiffs had initially argued that the Replan would end Census operations on September 30 and therefore risked a severe undercount of minority populations, the court found that the plan the Secretary of Commerce would adopt in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Nat’l Urban League could not be the same plan the plaintiffs had originally sought to enjoin because the the Census Bureau had actually continued operations beyond September 30 and achieved 99.9% nationwide enumeration.

On December 17, 2020, the plaintiffs informed the defendants that they intended to amend their second amended complaint and the defendants consented to the change. Over the next few months, the plaintiffs, without opposition from the defendants, sought extensions of time to file their third amended complaint.

On March 31, 2021, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. After the presidential administrations changed, President Joe Biden issued an executive order revoking President Trump's Executive Order and Memorandum to collect citizenship data and exclude undocumented people from congressional apportionment. The Census Bureau also terminated its efforts to produce citizenship data. The plaintiffs determined that because of these changes, their claims had been resolved and did not need to continue their case. Judge Xinis, Judge Hollander, and Judge Harris granted the voluntary dismissal on April 2. The case is now closed.

Devon Schmidt - 10/21/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Enumerations Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Non-profit religious organization
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1985
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Commerce
Plaintiff Description Latino and Asian American individuals from multiple states and civic engagement nonprofit organizations representing those communities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 09/13/2019
Case Closing Year 2021
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) v. Trump
https://www.brennancenter.org/
Date: Sep. 14, 2020
By: Brennan Center for Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

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

Court Docket(s)
D. Md.
04/02/2021
8:19-cv-02710-PX-PAH-ELH
PB-MD-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Md.
09/13/2019
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-MD-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
11/13/2019
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 50]
PB-MD-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
01/16/2020
Brief of Tom Wolf, Governor of Pennsylvania, as Amicus Curiae in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 65]
PB-MD-0008-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
08/13/2020
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 98]
PB-MD-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
08/17/2020
Letter [ECF# 101]
PB-MD-0008-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
10/14/2020
Letter Order [ECF# 132]
PB-MD-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Harris, Pamela Ann (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0004 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Hazel, George Jarrod (D. Md.) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0002
Hollander, Ellen Lipton (D. Md.) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0004 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Xinis, Paula (D. Md.) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0005 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adegbile, Debo Patrick (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-9000
Andriola, Eri (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Dycus, Jamie (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-9000
Gomez Hernandez, Julia Alejandra (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Hatoum, Daniel (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Hulett, Denise (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Minnis, Terry Ao (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Pellegrini, Tanya G. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Saenz, Thomas A. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-9000
Senteno, Andrea E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Shah, Niyati (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Yang, John C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0001 | PB-MD-0008-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Ehrlich, Stephen (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-9000
Other Lawyers Brown, Patrick (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0006 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Davies, Susan M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0006 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Donovan, Daniel T (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0006 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Eggleston, W Neil (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0006 | PB-MD-0008-9000
Schwab, Gregory George (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0008-0006 | PB-MD-0008-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -