Will the 2020 census include the question: “Are you a U.S. citizen?” A recent ruling by Judge Jesse Furman, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court of Southern New York, has thrown the matter into doubt.
Judge Furman ruled to drop the citizenship question from next year’s decennial census. In doing so, he disregarded the precedent for including the citizenship. This precedent has a history that dates back to 1820 and was continuously used from 1890 to 1950 on every census, and continues to this very day in the American Community Survey.
The decision threatens the integrity of our electoral system because the census count is used to determine the allocation of House seats and Electoral College votes. Moreover, Heritage Senior Fellow Mike Gonzalez reminds us that it is irrational to think that the census can ask questions on race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and age, yet it cannot ask the only question that should matter to a color-blind, self-governing republic.
Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky joined Gonzalez in urging President Trump to take the issue all the way to the Supreme Court—and quickly. The deadline for finalizing the census form is this June. We are happy that the administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
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What else can conservative movement do to prevent liberal judges from hijacking public policy?