Should Illegal Aliens Be Represented in Congress? Louisiana Says No

The state of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the inclusion of illegal aliens in the 2010 census count on which seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned among the states. The lawsuit asserts that Louisiana is one of five states which each lost one representative as a result of three other states gaining representation because of inclusion of such illegal aliens in the 2010 census count.

The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution’s apportionment by population of the House of Representatives as requiring that, “as nearly as is practicable, one man’s vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another’s.” Since only U.S. citizens can vote, and because the illegal alien population is unevenly distributed among the states, Louisiana asserts that the inclusion of such illegal alien population in the 2010 census count deprives Louisiana voters of their rightful representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Louisiana seeks to have declared unconstitutional the inclusion of illegal aliens in the census count used to apportion congressional seats. Louisiana asks the Supreme Court to order the Census Bureau to exclude such persons in a revised calculation of the 2010 apportionment, and to transmit such revised calculation to the House of Representatives and to the states for implementation.

Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that, “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.”

Strict constructionists or originalists on the Supreme Court might find that constitutional language sufficient to reject Louisiana’s claim, since it clearly requires the counting of all “persons” in each state and specified the only group which was not to be counted for purposes of apportionment.

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 Read More at Floyd Reports By Jan Ting, Floyd Reports