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Nutter Files Amicus Curiae Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Support of Immigration Rights in Trump v. New York

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Nutter and Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) filed a friend-of-the-court (amicus curiae) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of national organizations and Boston-based immigrants’ rights and faith-based groups in Trump v. New York, the case that will determine whether undocumented immigrants may be considered in the apportionment calculation for the next 10 years. Micah Miller, a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department, provided pro bono support to amici in this important case.

The brief was filed on behalf of six organizations: 

  • Haitian-Americans United
  • Centro Presente
  • La Colaborativa
  • Brazilian Worker Center
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • American Jewish Committee

The lawsuit challenges a July 21, 2020 Presidential Memorandum, issued well after Census 2020 had begun, which declared it was the “policy” of the United States to identify and exclude undocumented immigrants from the congressional apportionment base. A three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that the issues in the case were “not particularly close or complicated” and issued a permanent injunction declaring that the Memorandum was issued in excess of the statutory authority granted by Congress to conduct the census and apportion members of the House of Representatives. 

Nutter and LCR’s amicus brief asserts that the Memorandum not only runs contrary to centuries of constitutional and legal precedent, but is impossible to implement as a practical matter because it assumes that “lawful presence” is fixed, fault-based, and binary. 

Instead, the amicus brief argues, drawing upon a range of real world examples, that many immigrants, through no fault of their own, may occupy a “liminal” immigration status or lack documentation to support their legal presence. Too, the Memorandum entirely elides the role the federal government can play in making individuals undocumented through, for example, abruptly canceling humanitarian programs such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 

Oral argument is scheduled at the U.S. Supreme Court for November 30, 2020.

About Nutter
Nutter is a Boston-based law firm that provides legal counsel to industry-leading companies, early stage entrepreneurs, institutions, foundations, and families, across the country and around the world. The firm’s business and finance, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and land use, labor and employment, tax, and trusts and estates practices are national in scope. The firm was co-founded in 1879 by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, before his appointment to the Court. For more information, please visit and follow the firm on LinkedIn.

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