Judge Rules Citizenship Question on 2020 Census Can Move Forward

Rejecting privacy concerns from non-profit groups, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided with the government in declining to issue a preliminary injunction necessary to block a citizenship question from the 2020 census.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced in 2017 that the next census would add the question about citizenship, claiming it is “necessary to provide complete and accurate Census block level data.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus responded by issuing a letter stating that the citizenship question “only serves to instill fear among immigrant communities, decrease participation, and negatively impact the outcome and accuracy of the 2020 Census.”

The state of California threatened a lawsuit, arguing it should be illegal to ask about citizenship.

But, according to US District Judge Dabney Friedrich, “The Bureau did not act contrary to the E-Government Act by deciding to collect citizenship data before conducting, reviewing, or releasing a PIA addressing that decision.”

Why Do Liberals Oppose the Question?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the question “unnecessary and mean-spirited” while others said it would harm the accuracy of the census because illegals would be afraid to answer the form.

The Conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, disagrees, noting that the citizenship question had been a staple of census taking for decades before it suddenly became controversial.

“By emphasizing citizenship (but not ethnic ties), the government gives all people, but especially immigrants and their children, the important and inclusive message that its concerned with their relationship with the country they now call home,” they write.

The DOJ has also countered that the information obtained by the question helps ensure the integrity of elections and prevent racial discrimination.

Oddly enough, Bill Clinton had the question included on his last census, and liberals weren’t up in arms at the time.

What Now?

The ruling by Judge Dabney Friedrich is one of seven lawsuits filed against the implementation of the question. It is the only one addressing it based primarily on privacy concerns.

In January, a federal judge in New York barred the Administration from including a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire.

That case is currently awaiting consideration by the Supreme Court.