Supreme Court Decides Against Citizenship Question
Uncategorized | June 27, 2019
On the last day of its 2018-2019 term, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to block the question of citizenship from the 2020 census on the basis that the government did not provide sufficient explanation for the question’s inclusion. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had proposed that the question was important to assessing the number of citizens and noncitizens for the enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act. But other evidence exposed the likelihood that probing citizenship was a means of depressing Latino response to the census. the likelihood that probing citizenship was a means of depressing Latino response to the census.
Chief Justice Roberts, who penned the majority opinion, noted that
“. . . Altogether the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the secretary gave for his decision . . .” to gather data regarding citizenship.
This decision is a major victory for all communities, especially minority communities, whose access to resources directly correlates with engagement with the census and resultant data that accurately reflects population size and presence.