LOS ANGELES – Donald J. Trump announced this morning on Twitter that he will be making a statement about the administration’s continuing attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The administration cannot circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling late last month and federal court orders blocking the immediate addition of a citizenship question.
Please attribute the following quote in response to Trump’s tweet to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“Nothing that Donald Trump does or says today or any day will change the current situation unless and until federal government lawyers take steps to convince federal courts to alter or remove current orders — including those issued in the Maryland federal court where MALDEF and co-counsel have an ongoing challenge to the late addition of the citizenship question — that prevent the Census Bureau from moving forward with the citizenship question.
“In other words, Census Bureau and Commerce Department officials are currently legally barred from moving forward with a citizenship question on Census 2020. Those officials cannot defy those court orders simply because Donald Trump wants them to do so. Those Census Bureau and Commerce Department officials would face very serious contempt proceedings if they defy those court orders, and a Trump memo is not a defense to contempt.
“Therefore, nothing will change unless and until the federal courts alter their current orders and permit a citizenship question to proceed. MALDEF and many others will work to prevent such a change, including demonstrating that unconstitutional racial discrimination is behind the citizenship question.”
Read a timeline of MALDEF’s Census litigation HERE.