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Holder group will fight citizenship question on census

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A Democratic group headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will go to court over a decision by the Commerce Department to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census.

Holder said Tuesday that the group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, would fight the Trump administration’s decision, arguing that including a citizenship question would drastically lower the response rate on the 2020 census and lead to an inaccurate count.

“We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision,” Holder said. “The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy.”

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Holder’s announcement came a day after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that the Census Bureau would reinstate a question about individuals’ citizenship status on the 2020 census, despite objections from Democrats on the matter.

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department has argued that including such a question would help it enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a notion Holder rejected.

“Make no mistake — this decision is motivated purely by politics,” Holder said. “In deciding to add this question without even testing its effects, the Administration is departing from decades of census policy and ignoring the warnings of census experts.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) also said late Monday that he would file a lawsuit over the Commerce Department’s decision.

“We’re prepared to do what we must to protect California from a deficient Census,” Becerra said in a statement. “Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea — it is illegal.”

Tags Census Bureau Commerce Department Eric Holder Jeff Sessions Wilbur Ross Xavier Becerra

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