Second Federal Court Rules Census Citizenship Question Unconstitutional

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Today’s District Court ruling is a victory for equal representation for every resident of the United States. Americans expect and deserve a fair and accurate census and striking the citizenship question will help ensure that occurs.

The court found that the question appears to have been added with the express goal of driving down participation by noncitizens in the census leading to undercounts and undermining the fundamental constitutional principal of equal representation. Judge Seeborg recognized the addition of the citizenship question as an unjustified and arbitrary effort by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the Trump administration to subvert the constitutional requirement for a full and fair census.

Judge Seeborg found incontrovertible evidence that the addition of the citizenship question would drive down participation by non-citizens in the 2020 Census. This is reprehensible, undemocratic, and in defiance of the goal of the census as outlined in the United States Constitution. The attempt to add of the citizenship question to the 2020 census is underhanded politics at its very worst.

We look forward to the Supreme Court upholding these lower court rulings in order to ensure a census count that includes everyone and makes sure that states, municipalities and organizations have access to the representation and funding they need.

To read the court’s order, click here.

To read the brief filed by Common Cause and former elected and appointed Republican officials in the case, click here.