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Rhode Island is suing Trump over an order that could cost us a congressional seat

The US Capitol could have one fewer Rhode Island representative inside soon.Al Drago/Bloomberg

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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and it’s nice to have baseball back, but starting extra innings with a runner on second base is pretty much the dumbest rule ever created. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: As of Friday, Rhode Island had 18,224 confirmed coronavirus cases since March 1, and 1,002 residents had died. The most recent daily test-positive rate was 2.2 percent. There were 66 people in the hospital, with six in intensive care and five on ventilators.


The state of Rhode Island and the cities of Providence and Central Falls have joined a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration from excluding undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base when congressional districts are redrawn next year.

Trump issued a memo last week stating that it is the “policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.”

Trump’s order could have a significant impact on Rhode Island because the state is already facing the loss of one of its two seats in the US House of Representatives based on population trends (our population hasn’t grown at the same pace as other states).

The lawsuit argues that the US Supreme Court “has long recognized that undocumented immigrants are ‘persons’ under the Fourteenth Amendment,” and suggests that the memo’s “open disregard of the Constitution’s plain text is reason enough to invalidate it and to prevent Defendants from taking steps to carry out its unlawful policy.”

It’s difficult to say how the Trump administration would be able to enforce an exclusion on undocumented immigrants, as Nolan Rappaport argued in an op-ed for The Hill over the weekend. Remember, the administration already failed in its attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.


Speaking of the Census, it’s worth once again reminding Rhode Islanders to fill it out. The state now ranks 29th in the country, with a 60.2 percent response rate. But the numbers are much lower in tough-to-count areas. Central Falls has a response rate of just 41.8 percent, and Providence is at 46.8 percent.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island says that his organization is seeing a “perfect storm of attacks on civil liberties that, taken together, are close to unprecedented.”

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators is a Q&A with Barry Lester, director of the Center for the Study of Children at Risk at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. Have someone Ed Fitzpatrick should talk to for his weekly interview? E-mail him at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com.

Amanda Milkovits reports five people were arrested during protests against Providence police over the weekend.

⚓ The lost season for the PawSox was devastating for many reasons, but it hurts especially for this aspiring big league broadcaster who was supposed to call the team’s games this year.


⚓ Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty scored a legal victory over the Rhode Island Ethics Commission last week. Now he may be able to avoid a whopping $200 fine.

⚓ Media news: Alex Weldon and Tom Quinlan are getting a weekly Saturday radio show on WPRO-AM.


Politics: US Senator Ed Markey and US Representative Joseph Kennedy III sparred in another debate last night, and my colleague James Pindell graded their performances.

POTUS: What happens if President Trump loses in November, but refuses to concede? My colleague Jess Bidgood reports that a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics gamed it out, and it wasn’t pretty.

Coronavirus: With few medications available to fight COVID-19, and a possible vaccine still months away, the use of ultraviolet light to fight germs is making a comeback.

Entertainment: Emmy nominations are coming tomorrow, and Matthew Gilbert offers his top picks.

Music: We already know about Taylor Swift’s new Rhode Island-related song, but here’s a review of the rest of her new album.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ A group of parents and educators pushing for a safe reopening of schools this fall will hold a car rally in Providence at 3 p.m.


⚓ The Board of Elections has scheduled an emergency meeting for 10 a.m. to discuss a lawsuit filed by Common Cause Rhode Island and the League of Women Voters, and it “may discuss and vote upon the entry of a consent order, including possible modification to the witness/notary public requirements for mail ballots.”

⚓ The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation meets at 3:15 p.m. to discuss ways it can support small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus.

⚓ The Providence City Council Ordinance Committee is holding a public hearing at 5 p.m. on a possible zoning change for a proposed hotel on Angell Street.

⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.