LOS ANGELES – Donald J. Trump conceded today that his administration will no longer pursue a legal fight to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The president’s statement comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling late last month and federal court orders blocking the addition of a citizenship question.
MALDEF successfully sued the Trump administration in Maryland, challenging the unconstitutional addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. In April, U.S. District Court Judge George J. Hazel ruled that the addition of a citizenship question violates the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act.
That lawsuit also includes the unique allegation that Trump administration officials and others intentionally conspired to deprive racial minorities of their rights by adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Please attribute the following statement in response to Trump’s announcement to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“It took him ten days, but Donald Trump finally caught up with where his lawyers were on July 1. It appears that Trump now understands that the Supreme Court decision last month — that Wilbur Ross lied about why he was adding an untested citizenship question to the decennial Census — prevents this administration from moving forward with such a question in Census 2020.
“This is a great victory for all who believe in the importance of accuracy in the Census and in the necessity of fairness in government policymaking. Given last week’s experience, however, we will need to ensure that this is a final decision and that it is cemented in court order. Once that is done, we can all collectively focus on ensuring that every member of every household is counted in Census 2020.
“As for Trump’s order that the Commerce Department collect data already held by the federal government on citizenship, MALDEF will carefully monitor how the order is implemented. Privacy issues and lingering questions about unconstitutional racially discriminatory intent may arise in this new administration effort.
“In the meantime, we should all ask whether the conduct of the Census, even without a citizenship question, should remain under the supervision of someone whom a majority of the Supreme Court has concluded lied to Congress and the American public. Wilbur Ross should be removed from office immediately.”
Read a timeline of MALDEF’s Census litigation HERE