WASHINGTON – A federal district judge Tuesday struck down the Trump administration’s plan to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census, ruling that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross exceeded his authority under federal law.
The much-awaited decision by Judge Jesse Furman is likely to wind up at the Supreme Court, which next month is scheduled to consider a portion of the case – whether Ross can be required to give a deposition about the reasons for his decision. But Furman’s ruling temporarily makes that question moot.
Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question last March, but it has been tied up in court. The government has not asked about individuals’ citizenship on the Census since 1950.
Opponents, including California, New York, the American Civil Liberties Union and immigration rights groups, contend fears of deportation among undocumented immigrants will cause them to be undercounted.