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Democratic senators urge Ross to print 2020 census materials without citizenship question

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A group of Democratic senators on Friday called for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to move forward with printing 2020 census materials that don’t include a citizenship question, after the Supreme Court blocked the question on Thursday for the time being.

In a letter to Ross led by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), the 28 senators urged Ross “to uphold the rule of law and respect the court’s decision.”

And they warned that “any unnecessary delay” ahead of the 2020 census “would impact the ability of the Census Bureau to count every person in our country.”

{mosads}“By continuing to pursue the citizenship question, you will further delay and jeopardize the Census Bureau’s ability to conduct a full, fair, and accurate decennial census as required by the U.S. Constitution and the Census Act,” the letter reads.

“We urge you to stop all efforts to add a citizenship question and allow the Census Bureau to proceed with preparation for a 2020 census without a citizenship question on the questionnaire.”

The letter’s signatories included Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), as well as Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

2020 Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) also signed the letter.

Ross announced in 2018 that the 2020 census, which his department oversees, would include a question asking about citizenship status. He argued that it was necessary to help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act.

But the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Ross’s rationale didn’t match up with evidence presented in a lawsuit challenging the citizenship question’s inclusion, and blocked the question’s inclusion for now.

The justices sent the matter back to the Commerce Department to provide another reasoning for the question that better aligned with the evidence.

The Trump administration had said in court documents that it needed to finalize materials by June 30 in order to meet a July 1 printing deadline.

However, President Trump tweeted after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday that he was asking administration lawyers about delaying the 2020 census “no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter.”

That opens the door for the administration to put off printing census materials as it continues to fight in court for the citizenship question’s inclusion.

Tags 2020 Census Amy Klobuchar Brian Schatz Census citizenship question Charles Schumer Cory Booker Dick Durbin Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Kirsten Gillibrand Mark Warner Patrick Leahy Supreme Court Wilbur Ross

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