Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census [Updated July 5, 2019]   [open pdf - 661KB]

From the Document: "On June 27, 2019,the Supreme Court issued its decision in Department of Commerce v. New York--the case involving several challenges to the decision by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce (Commerce), Wilbur Ross, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Chief Justice Roberts authored the opinion for a majority of the Court, though different combinations of Justices comprised the majority for different parts of the opinion. In that opinion, the Supreme Court held that the Secretary's decision did not violate the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution or the Census Act, and that the Secretary's decision was supported by evidence before the agency. However, the Chief Justice--joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan--concluded that the Secretary's decision was unlawful because the reason he gave for adding the citizenship question was not the actual reason for his decision. The Court thus instructed that the case be sent back to Commerce to allow the Secretary to provide a non-pretextual justification for his decision. But the window for the agency to provide that justification is closing: the United States has represented that the deadline for finalizing the 2020 census questionnaire is the end of June 2019 while the plaintiffs have suggested that the deadline is the end of October 2019. Moreover, at least one ongoing lawsuit challenging the Secretary's decision involves a legal argument not addressed by the Supreme Court's decision, thus presenting another possible barrier to the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10319
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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