Census lawsuit to go forward, NY AG says

A New York Judge on Tuesday allowed a lawsuit challenging the planned inclusion of a citizenship question in the next US Census to move forward amid “strong” evidence the Trump administration acted in bad faith, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Furman also granted Underwood’s request for discovery, the statement said.

The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of states’ attorneys general and cities challenging the Trump administration’s decision in March to add a question about citizenship to the next Census. A question about citizenship has not appeared on the Census since the 1950s.

Critics say the question will penalize immigrants and threaten civil rights. Following the administration’s decision to include the question, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it was “necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters, specifically to help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act, which is something that’s important and a part of this process.”

In her statement, Underwood called Furman’s decision “a major win in our lawsuit to protect the Census, with a federal judge ordering the Trump administration to provide vital information on how the decision to demand citizenship status was made, and what it may mean for New Yorkers and Americans across the country.”

“The federal government has a solemn obligation to ensure a fair and accurate count of all people in this country,” Underwood added. “By demanding the citizenship status of each resident, the Trump administration is breaking with decades of policy and potentially causing a major undercount that would threaten billions in federal funds and New York’s fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College.”