U.S. District Court Grants Request to Census Citizenship Question Discrimination Ruling

Newly-discovered documents confirm administration’s intent to deprive minorities of equal representation

In a new potential block to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, on June 20, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge George J. Hazel granted a request from Advancing Justice | AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC) and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) to reconsider whether members of the Trump administration conspired with others to intentionally discriminate against Latinos, Asian Americans, and non-citizens when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The motion before Judge Hazel to reconsider his ruling was filed June 3 and follows revelations that a Republican redistricting strategist worked with administration officials to include a citizenship question in the decennial census to unlawfully advantage “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Advancing Justice | AAJC, said, “This is a step in the right direction. We are now in a position to show conclusively that the addition of the citizenship question was motivated by racial animus against immigrant communities.”

Advancing Justice | AAJC and MALDEF sued the Trump administration in May 2018 on behalf of Latino and Asian American individuals, Native Americans, social service non-profits, state legislative associations, civil rights groups, voting rights organizations, and community partnerships.

On April 5, Judge Hazel ruled that the addition of the citizenship question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court, however, fell short of granting our claim that the administration’s intent was to discriminate against non-citizens and that members of the administration conspired to deprive racial minorities of their constitutional right to equal representation.

Advancing Justice | AAJC and MALDEF filed an appeal on April 14 in the U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit challenging Judge Hazel’s ruling on the question. That appeal is moving forward.  And, today, Judge Hazel ruled that the new evidence raises “substantial issues” for the Fifth Amendment claim.

Read Judge Hazel’s Order HERE.


via Press Release from Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Mary Tablante 202-296-2300, ext. 0114 mtablante@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org

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