by Elliott Stonecipher

According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Louisiana’s population stagnation from 2000 to 2010 netted our state a loss of one of our seven (7) seats in the U. S. House of Representatives. 

In fact, that loss of our seventh seat was directly tied to the inclusion in the 2010 Census of the millions of unauthorized immigrants living in a few larger states, while very few live in Louisiana.  The way U. S. House reapportionment is calculated, these undocumented foreign nationals are counted in the Census just like citizens.  So, states like Texas gain multiple seats in the U. S. Congress (along with those electoral votes), and a few others like Louisiana lose. 

Although responsible state politicians – each armed with one partisan political rationalization or the other – initially wouldn’t touch the idea of filing a suit to straighten out this long-standing and obvious injustice, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell recently changed his mind.  The suit, prepared by and with the guidance of Louisiana constitutional scholar Dr. John S. Baker, is entitled Louisiana v. Bryson now awaits possible U. S. Supreme Court consideration.

Yesterday, Judicial Watch (www.judicialwatch.org) filed a “friend of the court” brief (SEE news release here) in support of the Louisiana lawsuit.  It’s arguments as detailed in the press release are potent.

When Dr. Baker and I co-wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on this subject a couple of years ago (SEE article here), we immediately noticed, of course, that officialdom in Louisiana had very little interest.  When the lawsuit made it to the U. S. Supreme Court, reaction was equally muted, and yesterday’s notice of the Judicial Watch brief in support attracted just as much – that is, no – attention.

Clearly, the possible “saving” of a U. S. House seat for Louisiana has never been of interest among our state’s politicians and other partisans. 

Regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court takes up Louisiana v. Bryson, a major issue – we would say defect – in the practice of the U. S. Census Bureau has been identified, and deserves a full-throated public debate.  In truth, the Census Bureau could simply be ordered by Congress to complete House reapportionment math only after unauthorized immigrants – who will and should always be (only) counted in any decennial census – are backed-out.  No one ever ordered the Census Bureau – more a national political op than a government agency – to count non-citizens in the first place.

If a U. S. Congress passes that law (and a president signs it), or otherwise directly orders the Census Bureau not include such non-citizens in reapportionment math, what will the partisans on the political left and their media friends do then?

I bet I know.  I bet most of us know.  THAT reaction wouldn’t be quiet.

Elliott Stonecipher

For any reader who may not know, this and all other such analysis and commentary I forward to you has been done strictly in the public interest. No compensation of any kind has been solicited, offered or accepted for this work.

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