LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit yesterday vacated a trial court’s ruling that held that the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question was not intentionally discriminatory.

The court’s ruling follows a request submitted last month by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) asking a three-judge panel of the court of appeals to order that a decision by U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel, made without the benefit of later-revealed evidence, be set aside.

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 Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.  MALDEF appealed Judge Hazel’s decision not to grant the racial intent claims 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 yesterday’s action by the Fourth Circuit to Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel:

“The vacating of the district court’s decision — reached without significant evidence only subsequently revealed — is critical to preventing the federal government from using that decision to undermine possible future efforts in court to present evidence of the clear racially discriminatory intent behind the Trump administration’s ongoing attempts to count non-citizens in order to deprive them of long-held rights to representation and recognition as constituents of elected officials.  The vacatur also will diminish the ability of the Prevaricator in Chief to mislead the public about his administration’s voluminous record of unconstitutional racial discrimination.

“Finally, the Fourth Circuit ruling also highlights anew the mendacity of Lyin’ Wilbur Ross.  It has now been almost eight weeks since a majority of the justices of the United States Supreme Court concluded that Ross lied to Congress and the public, yet he remains a member of the Cabinet of the United States.  That he lied, at least in part, in order to hide a nefarious and unconstitutional intent — racial discrimination — makes his continued service in high office even more outrageous.  Wilbur Ross should resign or be removed as Commerce Secretary immediately.”

Read the court order HERE