Success! No Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, Judge Says

The Trump administration’s unpopular push to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census form has finally been swatted down by a federal judge.

That’s good news for the over 40,000 Care2 members who signed the petition Adding Citizenship Questions to the 2020 Census is Racist and Unnecessary. Although the White House itself didn’t concede the citizenship issue was wrong, having a judge force them to remove it is plenty effective, as well.

Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his 277-page opinion, “Most blatantly, [Commerce] Secretary [Wilbur] Ross ignored and violated a statute that requires him in circumstances like those here to collect data through the acquisition and use of ‘administrative records’ instead of through ‘direct inquiries’ on a survey such as the census.”

Although Furman stopped short of calling the entire idea unconstitutional on the basis of discriminatory intent, he did call out Ross for ignoring the problems including this question would pose and “cherry-pick[ing]” pieces of data that misconstrued the damage it could do. He called it a “veritable smorgasbord of classic, clear-cut APA [Administrative Procedure Act] violations.”

Eighteen states and several cities joined forces to sue the White House over the planned citizenship question. They worry (and with good reason) that including it will frighten immigrants, regardless of status, from filling out the forms, which prevents the government from getting an accurate count of all people in this country. After all, what immigrants would want to admit to this administration that they are undocumented?

Most would contend that’s precisely the White House’s objective. By getting fewer people – particularly fewer people of color – to participate, the government can justify spending less on these populations, and provide them with less political representation in the form of legislators. Doing so just makes it easier for the administration to further gerrymander in favor of conservatives.

Unfortunately, this very well may not be the final word on this matter since it seems this case is bound for the Supreme Court. Regardless of the reasons it argues in court, Secretary Ross and friends know that there’s something to be gained by keeping immigrants away from the Census and they’re determined to exploit if they can get away with it.

Given the uncertainty ahead, it may be worth adding your signature to the petition even after this major victory. Hopefully the courts will continue to agree that the Trump administration is taking unlawful steps to impede the Census for partisan gain.

28 comments

Olivia M
Past Member 3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Mike H
Mike H3 months ago

I don't understand. Is this a census for the USA or is it a census for everyone who happens to be here at the time of the census.

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Mollie Wilson-Milesi

I'm glad the judge ruled against the question! Good news.

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R3 months ago

Thank you Judge Furman... I hope the decision is upheld by any other courts! Thank you for the first good news at 6:40 a.m. :)

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Thanks.

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Loredana V
Loredana V3 months ago

Thank for the good news!

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson3 months ago

Thank you.

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Debbi W
Debbi W3 months ago

Thank goodness Judge Jesse Furman had to good sense to rule the question of citizenship as out of bounds for the census. That question did not belong on the census report. It was just another one of trump's nasty ideas on how to screw-up the elections.

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Sue H
Sue H3 months ago

Excellent!

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