LOS ANGELES – A federal court in Maryland should vacate its ruling that found the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census was not intentionally discriminatory, according to recently filed court documents.
Attorneys with MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed the request with the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit last week. The request came just days after U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel permanently prohibited the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question to the upcoming Census.
MALDEF and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) successfully sued the Trump administration in Maryland, challenging the unconstitutional addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. On April 5, Judge Hazel ruled that the addition of the question violated the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act. However, Judge Hazel’s ruling stopped short of granting MALDEF’s claims that the administration’s intention in adding the question to the Census was to discriminate against non-citizens and communities of color in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. MALDEF appealed Judge Hazel’s decision not to grant the racial intention claim later that month. Subsequently-revealed evidence of intentional discrimination against Latinos led to a reopening of the racial intent claims, but the Trump administration’s decision to cave on the citizenship question prevented that reconsideration of the racial intent evidence.
Please attribute the following statement regarding the request to vacate the previous decision to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“We have no desire to prolong the current litigation following the Trump administration’s belated and labored decision to cease defending the prevarications put forward by Lyin’ Wilbur Ross about the attempt to include a citizenship question in Census 2020. The evidence of racial discrimination is strong, and we are confident that the late-revealed evidence would have led to a new decision that addition of the question was motivated by unlawful racial discrimination.
“Consideration of the new evidence has now been obviated by the Trump administration decision to give up on including a citizenship question on Census 2020. Therefore, the previous decision rejecting the racial intent claims, which came without the ability to consider the later-appearing and damning evidence against Ross and the administration, should be vacated.
“Donald Trump sees ‘exoneration’ where it does not exist. He also lies about the Latino community with frequency. He would use the decision rejecting the racial intent claims as somehow indicating that he does not discriminate against the Latino community. Vacating that decision will limit his ability, at least in part, to mischaracterize the clear record, which demonstrates a blatant intent to harm the Latino community nationwide.”
Read our Motion HERE
Read a Census Timeline HERE