Cuomo exploring legal options to contest Census results

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

The State of New York is reviewing its legal options for challenging the Census Bureau’s determination that its population declined and would lose a congressional seat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast doubt on the Census Bureau’s calculation of New York’s population during a news conference Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. If the Census Bureau had counted just 89 more New York citizens, the state would’ve maintained its current number of congressional seats.

“Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No, and we’re looking at legal options,” Cuomo told reporters Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

Cuomo also suggested former President Donald Trump’s proposal to put a citizenship question on the Census form could explain why New York’s population came in lower, according to Bloomberg. However, the question never made it onto the form after a series of legal challenges and court rulings.

“You had people who were nervous to come forward,” Cuomo said, Bloomberg reported. “I do believe the federal government had a chilling effect.”

In 2000, Utah challenged the Census Bureau’s calculation that left the state with an unchanged number of seats, arguing the agency didn’t factor in 10,000 Mormon missionaries who were traveling abroad during the count, CNN reported at the time. However, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling denying Utah’s legal challenge.

It is unclear which specific legal argument New York is exploring, according to Bloomberg.

New York’s one-seat loss is the first time the state’s House representation has decreased since 1850. The Empire State will have 28 representatives instead of 29 beginning in 2023.

Overall, Texas will gain two House seats, five states (Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon) will gain one seat each and seven states (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) will lose one seat each, according to the Census Bureau.

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