There’s no easy path for New York to win a legal fight with the U.S. Census Bureau over its narrow loss of a Congressional seat, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week he’s looking at “legal options” nevertheless.
New York’s governor didn’t spell out what legal actions he is considering, but said he thinks New York’s loss of a seat could be chalked up to a “minor” counting mistake in the 2020 census.
A census expert estimated Monday that if the census had counted just 89 more people in New York, it could have kept 27 House seats, assuming all other state totals remained the same.
“Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No.” Cuomo told reporters at a Tuesday press conference. “And we’re looking at legal options. Because when you’re talking about 89. That could be a minor mistake in counting.”
The Democrat said he’d asked the state’s attorney general to review whether there were legal grounds for a lawsuit.
States have gone to court to challenge census counts in past decades.
But none of those lawsuits have led to an adjustment of how many congressional representatives is entitled to, a process called apportionment.
“So it’d be a first if New York were to succeed,” said Janna Johnson, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a member of a U.S. Census Bureau advisory committee.
In 2002, Utah lost two court battles — including a 5-4 Supreme Court decision — arguing it should have gained a fourth seat after the 2000 census: the state’s lawyers criticized the census for its methodology and for excluding overseas Mormon missionaries.
News Sources: Republic World