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Federal Judge Blocks Citizenship Question on 2020 Census

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman has blocked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ attempt to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Decennial Census in State of New York et al. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, et al.

The U.S. Census Bureau, which falls under the U.S. Department of Commerce, has not asked a citizenship question since 1950.  The census, which measures U.S. population and demographics every ten years, serves to properly allocate House of Representatives seats and helps to appropriate billions of dollars in Federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties and communities.

According to Secretary Ross, the citizenship question was a response to a U.S. Department of Justice request for better citizenship data to enforce the Voting Rights Act and its protections against racial discrimination in voting.

The plaintiffs in the case, made up of civil rights groups, and 18 states and 15 cities, argued that the citizenship question would discourage immigrant families from responding, resulting in undercounting in communities with large immigrant populations, which are disproportionately minority communities. ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and counsel for the plaintiffs commented that the question would “strip federal resources and political representation from those needing it most.”

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ultimately concluded that Secretary Ross’ attempts to include the question violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and that Secretary Ross “failed to disclose his true rationale.” Judge Furman states, “In arriving at his decision as he did, Secretary Ross violated the law. And in doing so with respect to the census — ‘one of the most critical constitutional functions our federal government performs’ and a ‘mainstay of our democracy’ — Secretary Ross violated the public trust.”

The Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

For More Information Visit:

Bloomberg:  Trump Citizenship Question on 2020 Census Blocked by Court

The New York Times: Court Blocks Trump Administration From Asking About Citizenship in Census

 

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