A DOJ lawyer told a Maryland-based federal judge Wednesday that President Trump’s administration is seeking a “path forward” to add a citizenship question to the Y 2020 census.
Joseph Hunt, an assistant attorney general with the civil division of the Department of Justice, said the department’s been “instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census.”
“We think there may be a legally available path under the Supreme Court’s decision. We are examining that, looking at near-term options to see whether that’s viable and possible,” Mr. Hunt said, according to a transcript of a teleconference held in federal court in Maryland obtained by Reuters.
The Supreme Court found that administration officials had given a “contrived” rationale for including the query in the decennial population survey.
Critics have called the citizenship question a Republican ploy to scare immigrants into not taking part in the census and engineer a population undercount in Democratic-leaning areas with high immigrant and Latino populations, Reuters reported.
That would benefit non-Hispanic whites and help President Trump’s fellow Republicans gain seats in the House and state legislatures when new electoral district boundaries are drawn after the census, the critics say.
“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question,” President Trump Tweeted.
Mr. Hunt said the DOJ plans to file a motion in the Supreme Court that would “govern further proceedings in order to simplify and expedite the remaining litigation and provide clarity to the process going forward.”
Have a Happy 4th of July!