June 27, 2019

Supreme Court Questions Trump Administration Motives on Census Citizenship Question

Washington, DC — Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s stated explanation for why a citizenship question was needed on the 2020 U.S. Census was “contrived”, but also left it to the administration to provide a better rationale. Below is a statement from ACS President Caroline Fredrickson.

“It is clear that the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the census is a deliberate attempt to undercount minorities and immigrants. Lower courts have spelled it out for us as well, repeatedly taking the Trump administration to task for the tortured logic and shifting arguments behind this effort. And if further evidence of corrupt intent were needed, we have the recently released files of a GOP operative that clearly show the question is intended to help the GOP and ‘non-Hispanic whites’.

“Today the Supreme Court agreed that the administration’s explanations for why it wants to add such a question don’t add up.

“But no one should be popping any champagne corks. In its decision, the Supreme Court essentially invited the Trump administration to provide a better public explanation for its political manipulation of the census. In doing so, it left the door open to future dirty tricks from an administration that has already proven itself untrustworthy on issues of race and equality.

“It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration will now race to clear the court’s hurdle in time to include this question on the 2020 census.”

Founded in 2001, the American Constitution Society (ACS) is a leading progressive legal organization and network of attorneys, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers, and other concerned individuals, dedicated to making the law a force to improve people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter at @acslaw. You can also follow Caroline Fredrickson on Twitter @crfredrickson.