Posted on December 20, 2018

Federal Judge Orders Trial over Census Citizenship Question

Tal Axelrod, The Hill, December 19, 2108

A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request from the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its addition of a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 census.

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.


Latino and Asian-American groups filed the original suit in May claiming that the question would disenfranchise minority residents who are not citizens and lead to underrepresentation in Congress and unfair allocation of federal funds to communities of color.

That suit, one of several challenging the Trump administration’s decision to add the question to the census, was combined with another lawsuit by a group of individuals from Maryland and Arizona making similar claims.


While the Census Bureau eliminated a question on citizenship after the 1950 census, the Justice Department last year said such a question was again necessary to help it enforce the Voting Rights Act.