July 8, 2019

The President Cannot Legally Alter the Census with an Executive Order

Contact: Alexandra Walker at media@acslaw.org

Washington, D.C. — News reports suggest President Trump may try to get around a Supreme Court ruling blocking the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census by issuing an executive order instructing officials to include one. Such an effort would be unconstitutional as ACS President Caroline Fredrickson explains in her statement below:

“The president cannot legally alter the census with an executive order. Article One of the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress control over the census and it has not delegated or ceded that power to the executive branch. Any effort to insert specific questions in the census by the president is patently unconstitutional.

“To put it simply, the president is contemplating ignoring the highest court in the land, simply because he doesn’t like its decision. It is an unprecedented and tyrannical act that should anger anyone who has ever raised alarms about executive overreach by this or any other president.”

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.