A Third Court Rules That Trump’s Census Citizenship Question Is Illegal

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from add... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census form, at the headquarters of District Council 37, New York City's largest public employee union, April 3, 2018 in New York City. Critics of President Donald Trump's administration's decision to reinstate the citizenship question contend that that it will frighten people in immigrant communities from responding to the census. The Trump administration has stated a citizenship question on the census will help enforce voting rights. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 5, 2019 1:08 p.m.
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A federal judge in Maryland on Friday struck down the move by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge¬†George Hazel said the question violated the Constitution’s Enumerations Clause because it compromised the survey’s accuracy. The judge also ruled that the way in which the administration went about adding the question violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Yet, the challengers did not win on their claim that adding question was also a civil rights violation, as they failed “to show that the addition of the citizenship question was motivated by invidious racial discrimination,” according to the judge.

Hazel’s order blocked the Trump administration from including the question on the census, regardless of whether it found a way to do so in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

Hazel is the federal second judge to rule the question unconstitutional and the third to say the move to add it violated the administrative law.

However, whether the question stays on the upcoming decennial survey will ultimately be up to the Supreme Court, which has scheduled arguments on the issue for later this month.

Read Hazel’s full decision below:

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