SCOTUS Protects Commerce Secretary From Answering Questions About 2020 Census Immigration Question
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will not have to answer lawyers’ questions about his decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census. The decision by the Supreme Court to shield Ross, at least temporarily, comes in response to a lawsuit filed by several states and civil rights groups to stop the administration from adding a citizenship question to the decennial count. They had asked to question Ross over his “shifting and inaccurate explanations, both in his decisional memo and in testimony before Congress,” as well as in new documents filed in the case, about why he made the decision to add the question. Ross said he had added the question to help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, but recently released documents contradicted his claims and showed that he had been pushing for the inclusion of the question at the behest of other administration officials including Steve Bannon. Immigrant rights groups and Democrats say the question will make immigrants hesitate to fill out the form, and six former Census Directors also say that the question would harm the count. An undercount could cost states with large immigrant populations federal funds and congressional representation. The court did allow the suit overall to go forward. Stay tuned. More here.