At the end of July, a Manhattan judge allowed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census. Judge Jesse Furman ruled that a group of immigrants rights groups could start trying to prove their claim that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was motivated by “discriminatory animus” in seeking to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected a request from the Trump administration to dismiss the lawsuit. According to MSN News:
‘U.S. District Court Judge George J. Hazel’s ruling paves the way for a trial in January to determine if the question is constitutional.’
The lawsuit against the government claims that adding a citizenship question would disenfranchise minority residents and lead to underrepresentation in Congress and unfair allocation of federal funds to communities of color.
In his Wednesday ruling, Judge Hazel wrote:
‘The parties will be permitted to present evidence outside of the administrative record at trial; The defense will be permitted to argue at the close of trial that such evidence should not be considered in the Court’s final decision.’
Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement:
‘This case needs to go to public trial; characteristically, the Trump administration has obfuscated and outright lied about its motivation to add a citizenship question. Its decision to add the question serves a barely-concealed white nationalist agenda, and sacrifices the centuries-long integrity of the Census to that deplorable service.’
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