Wilbur Ross ordered to give deposition in 2020 census case: report

Wilbur Ross ordered to give deposition in 2020 census case: report
© Anna Moneymaker

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossMulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Turbulence in the West Wing as shakeup looms On The Money: Amazon taps New York, Northern Virginia for new offices | What it means for the DC area | Dems target vulnerable commerce chief | Earmarks look to be making a comeback MORE has reportedly been ordered to be deposed due to his decision to reinstate a citizenship status question in the upcoming 2020 census.

ABC News, citing court documents, reported Friday that U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York wrote in an opinion that "Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue."

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The decision comes as many states and cities have filed lawsuits challenging the decision. ABC News notes that Ross will be questioned by attorneys representing more than a dozen cities and states.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that a citizenship question on the census would deter immigrants from participating and decrease federal funding to historically Democratic states, according to The Associated Press.

Furman's announcement comes almost a year after the Department of Justice made a formal request to place a citizenship question on the 2020 census. 

ABC notes that Ross had considered placing the question on the census soon after he was appointed to his role in February 2017. 

Furman wrote in his opinion that Ross had an "unusually strong personal interest in the matter," and that he went through with this action despite "strong and continuing opposition" from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The Commerce Department did not immediately return ABC's request for comment. 

Furman's opinion comes just months after he denied a request from the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its decision to add a citizenship question. 

He said in his ruling that challengers had “plausibly” argued there is a “heightened risk in the current political climate” that the question will lead to a lower response rate “because of President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.”