The US Supreme Court heard arguments in Trump v. New York and Van Buren v. US Monday.
Trump v. New York concerns an attempt by the Trump administration to exclude people living in the US illegally from being counted in the 2020 census for apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.
This is the first time in US history that the issue has been brought before the court. When the justices questioned Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall about this, he conceded the unprecedented nature of the issue. The justices also raised concerns about the practical difficulty of determining how many people counted in the census were undocumented immigrants, as the census did not include a citizenship question. However, conservative justices did appear to favor allowing the administration to exclude detained immigrants or those facing deportation. The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that the policy is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, which requires the government to count all inhabitants equally. They alleged that it would effectively create a modern three-fifths clause.
In Van Buren v. US, the court heard arguments about whether the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits a person authorized to access a computer from using that authority to access it in an unauthorized way. Nathan Van Buren urged a narrow reading of the law to prevent the criminalization of things like security research that the website’s terms of service do not specifically permit. The government argued in favor of a strict interpretation of the law to deter theft and exposure of sensitive data. Both sides have raised slippery slope arguments. While those supporting Van Buren claim that the government’s interpretation could criminalize things like sharing streaming passwords and engaging in non-work related things while at work, the government’s supporters raise concerns about a narrow reading allowing malicious abuses like doxing.