Supreme Court rules in redistricting case: Illegal immigrants can be counted

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 7, 2015 file photo immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala who entered the country illegally board a bus after they were released from a family detention center in San Antonio. Women and children are being released from immigrant detention centers faster on bond, with many mothers assigned ankle-monitoring bracelets in lieu of paying. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2016

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that illegal immigrants and other noncitizens can be counted when states draw their legislative districts, shooting down a challenge by Texas residents who said their own voting power was being diluted.

The ruling does not grant noncitizens the power to vote, but says the principle of one person, one vote doesn’t require localities to only count those who are actually eligible to vote when they are deciding how many people to put inside of each district.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said even though only eligible voters are supposed to cast ballots, elected officials represent all people within their districts, and it is that act of representation, not the election itself, that the boundaries are drawn to.

“As the Framers of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote,” she wrote. “Nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates — children, their parents, even their grandparents, for example, have a stake in a strong public-education system — and in receiving constituent services, such as help navigating public-benefits bureaucracies.”

Hispanic groups hailed the ruling as a victory for their own political power, saying it ensured Latinos continue to earn representation even if they don’t have the right to vote.

But conservatives and those who want to see a crackdown on illegal immigration said the ruling could entice even more communities to become sanctuary cities, shielding illegal immigrants in an attempt to attract more nonvoters and build their political clout.

Texas residents had challenged the way districts were drawn in their state, saying that because they ended up in districts with more eligible voters, their vote counted less than someone in another district.

Because of illegal immigrants, other noncitizens and children under 18 years of age, state legislative districts in Texas can vary by as much as 40 percent. That means one state Senate district has 584,000 eligible voters, while another has just 372,000 — and Texans in that first district say that means they have a smaller say in who represents them than does a resident of the second district.

The process of dividing up districts is known as apportionment.

At the federal level, congressional districts have been drawn based on total population under the strictures of the 14th Amendment.

All 50 states have generally followed the same rules, though the Constitution wasn’t explicit on the matter.

The justices didn’t rule out the possibility, if a state wishes, of using eligible voters to apportion districts. Justice Ginsburg said they didn’t need to reach that question for now, though two members of the court, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Anthony Alito Jr., both signaled they wanted to tackle that subject.

Continuedhttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/4/supreme-court-illegals-count-apportionment/



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JUST IN->  Pelosi Announces House Resolution To Condemn Trump’s ‘Racist, Xenophobic Tweets’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Monday that Democrats will offer a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s “racist” tweets against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Pelosi wrote a letter to House Democrats announcing that they will draft a resolution to condemn Trump’s “racist” tweets against progressive Democrats.

“This weekend, the President went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about Members of Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote.

“This morning, the President doubled down on his attacks on our four colleagues suggesting they apologize to him,” she added. “Let me be clear, our Caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks.”

President Trump taunted the “squad” of far-left first-term progressive Democrats on Sunday, telling them to go back and fix the places they came from before telling the rest of the country what to do.

Trump’s tweets caused an uproar amongst the media and Hollywood celebrity classes, and now, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D–TX) hopes to capitalize on the president’s message by condemning them in Congress.

Lee said she will draft a resolution of condemnation.

“Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will be drafting a Resolution of Condemnation for the words used by President Trump about four members of the House of Representatives over the weekend,” Jackson Lee’s office wrote:

Sheila Jackson Lee  @JacksonLeeTX18

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will be drafting a Resolution of Condemnation for the words used by President Trump about four members of the House of Representatives over the weekend.

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

....it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

President Trump’s remarks seemed particularly directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who is a former Somalian refugee.

Omar said Friday that the president “shouldn’t be in office” and told an audience of high school students that America was failing to uphold its promise to be a just society.

Rep. Omar said Trump was “stoking white nationalism” after he tweeted that some progressive congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from.

“You are stoking white nationalism because you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda,” Omar wrote:

Ilhan Omar  @IlhanMN


As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.

Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen. https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1150381394234941448 

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

Ilhan Omar  @IlhanMN

You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.

“America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.” -RFK

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez claimed Monday that President Trump’s remarks serve as the “hallmark language of white supremacists.”

President Trump tweeted Monday that Democrats need to apologize for the “foul language” and “terrible things they have said”:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.

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