LOS ANGELES – A federal court in Maryland today issued its opinion explaining its previously-issued response to a request by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) to reconsider whether the Trump administration conspired with others to intentionally discriminate against Latinos and non-citizens when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel’s memorandum opinion provides the reasoning supporting his brief order last week indicating that newly discovered evidence — showing direct contact among Thomas B. Hofeller, a GOP strategist, Commerce officials, and Trump transition team members about adding the citizenship question in order to shift political power in favor of white voters and away from Hispanic voters – raises “a substantial issue” with respect to his previous post-trial conclusion that plaintiffs had not proven their racial intent and conspiracy claims.  Judge Hazel also indicated that the new evidence strongly suggests that Trump administration officials and partisan operatives had a role in concocting the false rationale for adding the citizenship question that was reported to Congress.

In his 14-page decision, Judge Hazel writes that “it is becoming difficult to avoid seeing that which is increasingly clear. As more puzzle pieces are placed on the mat, a disturbing picture of the decisionmakers’ motives takes shape.”

Please attribute the following statement to MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz:

 “Every American, and most specifically every member of Congress, should be shocked and appalled today.  Judge Hazel calls it right; as the puzzle becomes clearer, it is increasingly impossible to ignore that the addition of the citizenship question was driven by the crassest of partisan motives, and that racial and unconstitutional discrimination was the vehicle cynically employed to serve this unprecedented politicization of Census data collection.

“The end result is a despicable attempt to significantly reduce the count of a particular racial/ethnic community, with very real detrimental harms that go well beyond statistics.  Our Constitution does not countenance such an attempt.  Policymakers must take every step to prevent this willful attempt to undermine the Census from continuing.  History will judge harshly those who did nothing in the face of clear evidence of unconstitutional racial intent.”

Read Judge Hazel’s full opinion HERE

Read the exhibits HERE.

Read a Census Timeline HERE