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White House Says Census Will Be Printed Without Citizenship Question

July 2, 2019 by Dan McCue
California on track to lose at least one congressional seat after 2020 Census (Dreamstime/TNS)

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced Tuesday evening that it will print the 2020 census without a question about citizenship.

The announcement comes five days after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively blocked the addition of the question on the last day of its turn, but in the wake of that decision, President Donald Trump had suggested he might delay the census to continue to fight for the question’s inclusion.

The High Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, had blocked the inclusion of the question because it said the administration’s explanation for adding the question — that it would bolster efforts to enforce the Voting Rights Act — appeared “contrived.”

However he did allow enough wiggle room for the White House to offer another, better explanation. The problem was time. The Census Bureau said it had to begin printing by Monday or additional resources would be required.

House Democrats opposed any delay of the census, perhaps none so vociferously as Representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the House Census Caucus Chair, who said in a statement Tuesday morning that “The census date of April 1 is codified in Title 13 of the US Code.

 “Only Congress has the authority to delay the census and must do so through the legislative process, which we have no intention of doing.” Maloney added.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department alerted groups that sued over the 2020 Census citizenship question that the administration will print the forms without the question.

In a letter over the signature of Kate Bailey, trial attorney with the Justice Department Civil Division, the department said, “We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process.”

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