On April 5, 2019, a Federal District Court in Maryland became the third court to rule that the Department of Commerce cannot add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 decennial Census.
As we have written previously, the purpose of the decennial census is to measure the entire U.S. population, regardless of immigration status. The census count is used to apportion congressional representation, to inform the distribution of some federal funds, and is relied upon by the private sector as well.
The Maryland federal court’s decision joins those by federal courts in New York and California in blocking the government from adding the question to the census forms. The administration has already appealed the issue to the Supreme Court, which will hear oral argument later in April, with a decision expected before the end of June 2019.