Maryland Court Pushes Up Deadline for Government Response to 2020 Census Citizenship Question In Light of Contradictory Statements

Government has until 2:00 p.m. ET Friday to respond to addition of 2020 Census citizenship question
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144
Mary Tablante 202-296-2300, ext. 0114

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. District Court Judge Hazel told the government-defendants in no uncertain terms that by Friday, 2:00 p.m. EST,  the parties must return to court for one of two results: either the government enters into a formal agreement on a permanent decision not to include a citizenship question on Census 2020, or the LUPE et. al. v. Ross et. al. plaintiffs move forward with scheduling discovery and further litigation of Plaintiffs' intentional discrimination and civil conspiracy claims.

Advancing Justice | AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC) and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) sued the administration and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in May 2018 on behalf Latino and Asian American individuals, Native Americans, social service nonprofits, state legislative associations, civil rights groups, voting rights organizations, and community partnerships that would be forced to divert resources to combat a potential severe undercount in their respective communities.

“The government told the Supreme Court that a final decision on the inclusion of the citizenship question was necessary before July 1,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “The Court ruled, and said that the question was inappropriately included. The U.S. Department of Justice has represented that the census forms are going to print without the citizenship question. The government seems to be seeking to shift the goal posts once again. Now is the time to get all persons involved in participating in the census, not the time for more fear, misinformation, and distrust of the government.”

The Department of Justice told the court today that it has been instructed to determine whether there is a path forward consistent with the Supreme Court's decision that would allow it to proceed with the citizenship question. The government also acknowledged that injunctions were in place, and that the U.S. Census Bureau is continuing the process of printing the census questionnaire without the citizenship question.  

The parties will return to court this Friday afternoon.