SCOTUS Suspends Census Citizenship Question In Light of Evidence of Political and Racial Motives  

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Common Cause Statements

Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President: “’Contrived.’ That’s what the Supreme Court called the Administration’s trumped up explanation for adding the citizenship question on the 2020 Census. In documents that Common Cause received in the North Carolina state challenge, Common Cause v. Lewis, emails and reports created by Thomas Hofeller, the chief Republican redistricting mapdrawer, reveal the real reasons for the citizenship question – to make redistricting ‘advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’ Suspending the citizenship question is a step in the right direction.”

Kathay Feng, Common Cause Redistricting & Representation Director: “Today, the Supreme Court stated, ‘We cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given.’ The Supreme Court saw through the explanations by the Commerce Department as pure pretext. The last-minute effort to add the question was clearly a cover-up to mask their true motives – to rig redistricting for partisan and racial gain.”

In recent weeks, both the Supreme Court and the U.S. District Courts in Maryland and New York were made aware of Hofeller’s files obtained recently by Common Cause.  In 2015, Hofeller laid out a plan to add the citizenship question to the census to allow a move from redistricting based on total population to only citizen voting aged population. The Maryland-based cases challenging the citizenship question on intentional discrimination claims is now being reconsidered due to the Hofeller files being submitted as new evidence.

Keshia Morris, Common Cause Census Project Manager: “Common Cause and other groups will continue to fight for an accurate count at the state and local level. We need to pour every ounce of energy into mobilizing every neighbor and all communities to complete the 2020 Census – we cannot allow these partisan attempts to politicize the 2020 Census deter a full count of every person in the United States as called for in the Constitution.”

To view the court filing and Hofeller-related exhibits of the citizenship question, click here.