Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the Trump administration last week for seeking to exclude illegal immigrants from census counts, which determine how many congressional districts a state receives — congressional apportionment.
Ellison’s office said the administration is attempting to “exclude undocumented persons from the ‘whole number of persons’ that constitutes the apportionment base and to discriminate against Hispanics and noncitizens.”
The Trump administration believes that states like New York and California, which offer sanctuary to persons illegally in the United States, are unfairly granted extra congressional seats at the expense of states that take a hard line on immigration.
The lawsuit is being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia are all participating — 20 states in total thus far.
This happens to be the fourth time Ellison’s office has sued the Trump administration in the month of July.
A lawsuit joined by Ellison on July 20 was characterized by his office as fighting a Trump administration “rule that targets LGBTQ+ people, people with limited English, and women.”
Ellison said the Trump administration’s new rule would eliminate a provision that “required health entities to provide meaningful language assistance services to individuals with limited English proficiency, including by notifying them of their rights to translation and interpretation services.”
The Trump administration thinks such rules create an undue burden on small medical providers.
The new Trump rule also allows doctors and nurses who have conscience objections to not participate in sex-change surgeries, and permits government faith-based contractors to raise religious defenses in LGBT discrimination claims.
Yet another Ellison lawsuit, filed on July 15, seeks to stop a rule from the Department of Education. The new DOE rule would roll back a rule put in place by the Obama administration in 2016. The Obama-era rule from 2016 allowed borrowers to receive full student-loan forgiveness at the expense of for-profit colleges, and accused the for-profit colleges of defrauding students.
A final lawsuit from Ellison’s office issued on July 13 sought to fight back against a Trump administration rule that would have excluded international students from the United States if they did not attend in-person classes.
Ellison said excluding the foreign students, who would be attending classes remotely, “hurts Minnesota’s schools, community, and economy.” The Trump administration backed down from the rule change on July 14 because of logistical issues and criticism. Many international students were already in the United States awaiting classes, which may or may not happen, critics said.
Many of these lawsuits are not handled in-house, but are mostly run by high-powered and high-priced law firms, who are hired by the attorneys general (using taxpayer dollars) to make the case in court.