Los Angeles, CA – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement in response to today’s federal court ruling vacating the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census and concluding that the addition of the question violates the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
MALDEF is suing the Trump administration on behalf of individuals and organizations in separate litigation in Maryland federal court. That case is set for trial beginning next week, January 22. The Maryland case raises issues not resolved in the New York ruling today:
“Judge Jesse Furman’s lengthy decision details many of the veritable multitude of facts – all undermining the integrity of the United States Census – demonstrating the serious legal flaws in the cynical decision last year to add a citizenship question to Census 2020. The court decision correctly removes the citizenship question as unsupported by the lies emitted by the Trump administration to explain the late addition of a question that has not been on the decennial Census for seven decades.
“While Judge Furman’s decision correctly resolves the statutory question, MALDEF believes that his decision on the constitutional issue of intentional discrimination fails to accord adequate weight to the ample indications of intentional racial discrimination. Therefore, we look forward to presenting, at the upcoming trial in Maryland next week, the facts demonstrating a Trump administration conspiracy to target Latinos.
“Finally, the prodigious importance of the Census lies behind Judge Furman’s decision, and greatly supports all ongoing efforts to ensure that everyone is counted in Census 2020.”