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U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Dangerous and Untested Citizenship Question from the 2020 Census – For Now

WashingtonToday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Department of Commerce v. New York, rejecting the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census, a move that would have undoubtedly resulted in the undercounting of communities of color. The Court rejected the Trump Administration’s claim that a citizenship question is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act and remanded the case to the trial court, though it is unclear whether any further purported justifications for the question will be offered. Advancement Project National Office has long opposed the addition of the citizenship question and issued the following statement:

“This is a victory for directly impacted immigrant communities and for racial justice,” said Losmin Jiménez, Project Director and Senior Attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project at Advancement Project National Office. “The real reason behind the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census is racism. That the Supreme Court did not look away and checked the Trump Administration on this racism is a huge relief.”

“The majority saw the Trump Administration’s unprecedented addition of a citizenship question for the fraud that it is. As three trial judges have found, the Trump Administration’s proffered justification – better enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – is wholly pretextual,” said Denise Lieberman, Project Director and Senior Attorney for the Power and Democracy Program at Advancement Project National Office. “Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act would be undermined by the inclusion of a citizenship question.

Census Bureau experts estimated that the citizenship question could have caused up to 6.5 million people to refuse to full out the Census survey, especially those in communities of color.


Advancement Project National Office is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.

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