Alabama thrust itself into an intense partisan confrontation last month when it filed a lawsuit opposing the counting of undocumented immigrants for congressional reapportionment purposes in the 2020 U.S. Census. Critics believe Alabama, much like the federal government through its decision to back a citizenship question on the 2020 forms, is aiming to “weaponize” the program for political gain. But backers of the lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, argue that the state is testing legal waters in an attempt to salvage one of the state’s seven congressional seats and one of its nine electoral votes.
Alabama is at-risk of losing one seat in the U.S. House, as well as an electoral vote during presidential elections, because the state has experienced slower growth compared to other states since 2010, when the last decennial Census took place.
A constitutional showdown could come fast and furious, as other legal and legislative maneuvering around the Census is expected to be resolved with only 18 months before the counting begins.
Conservatives and civil rights groups are already staking their turf over the traditionally nonpartisan Census, which has become the focal point of the battles over immigration reform.