Trump Administration To Print 2020 Census Without Citizenship Question

The Trump administration has decided to print the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question, and the printer has been told to start the printing process, Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco confirms to NPR.

The move comes shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the question off census forms for now and just a day after printing was scheduled to begin for 1.5 billion paper forms, letters and other mailings.

In recent days, President Trump had said he wanted to delay the constitutionally mandated head count to give the Supreme Court a chance to issue a more “decisive” ruling on whether the administration could add the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A majority of the justices found that the administration’s use of the Voting Rights Act to justify the question “seems to have been contrived.”

Asked whether the administration’s decision to not add the question is final, Laco said in a text: “Confirm no citizenship question on 2020 census.”

A federal judge has ordered Justice Department attorneys and plaintiffs in the citizenship question lawsuits based in Maryland to reach a written agreement that formally confirms those plans by July 8, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Thomas Saenz of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Still, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau and approved adding the question, said in a statement that the bureau has started the process of printing census forms without the question. He added that while he respects the Supreme Court, he “strongly” disagrees with its ruling on the question.
“My focus, and that of the Bureau and the entire Department is to conduct a complete and accurate census,” Ross said.

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