Voting Rights and Democracy

RELEASE: Supreme Court Rejects Citizenship Question in 5-4 Ruling

CAC President Elizabeth Wydra: “The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is a discriminatory ploy that undermines the text, history and values of our nation’s founding charter. The Supreme Court was right to keep it off the Census, which is the cornerstone of our democracy.”

WASHINGTON – Today the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in Department of Commerce v. New York holding that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross had acted pretextually when he sought to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

“The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is a discriminatory ploy that undermines the text, history and values of our nation’s founding charter,” Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra said. “The Supreme Court was right to keep it off the Census, which is the cornerstone of our democracy.”

“The Supreme Court properly refused to accept the Trump administration’s lie that the citizenship question was necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act” CAC Director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program, David Gans said. “Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the Census has never asked individuals to report their citizenship status. As the record showed, adding the citizenship question would have drastically slashed minority political representation.”

CAC filed an amicus brief in this case in April 2019. The brief argued that the Constitution requires the federal government to count all people living in the United States. Also, curbing manipulation of the Census by the political branches was one of the main reasons for including the Census Clause in the Constitution.

For more information on CAC’s involvement in this case visit our website.

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