Judge Orders Trump Administration To Remove 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Judge Orders Trump Administration To Remove 2020 Census Citizenship Question

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.
The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" All U.S. households have not been asked such a question on the census since 1950, although it has been asked of a sample of households for past head counts and for the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Furman found that the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census was "unlawful" because of "a veritable smorgasbord of classic, clear-cut" violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, including cherry-picking evidence to support his choice. Ross oversees the Census Bureau.

"To conclude otherwise and let Secretary Ross's decision stand would undermine the proposition — central to the rule of law — that ours is a 'government of laws, and not of men,' " Furman wrote, quoting one of the country's Founding Fathers, John Adams.
Ross, Furman added, "ignored and violated a clear statutory duty" to use existing government records about people's citizenship status as much as possible rather than using the census to ask a citizenship question. In another violation of the law, Ross "announced his decision in a manner that concealed its true basis rather than explaining it," Furman said...

 

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