Judge strikes down Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question to 2020 Census
WASHINGTON – A federal district judge Tuesday struck down the Trump administration’s plan to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census, ruling that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross exceeded his authority under federal law.
The much-awaited decision by Judge Jesse Furman is likely to wind up at the Supreme Court, which next month is scheduled to consider a portion of the case – whether Ross can be required to give a deposition about the reasons for his decision. But Furman’s ruling temporarily makes that question moot.
Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question last March, but it has been tied up by a half dozen lawsuits. The government has not asked about individuals' citizenship on the Census since 1950.
Opponents, including California, New York, the American Civil Liberties Union and immigration rights groups, contend fears of deportation among undocumented immigrants will cause them to be undercounted.
In his 277-page ruling, Judge Furman discounted Ross's contention that he made his decision based on the Justice Department's request. Instead, Furman said, Ross opted for the citizenship question for other reasons and then tried to conceal his motives by getting the Justice Department to ask for it.
― Douglas Adams