A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to provide details on its decisionmaking process for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York criticized the administration, saying that there was “strong” evidence that they acted in bad faith by adding the question, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D).
Underwood praised Furman’s decision, saying her office is “proud” to lead the coalition challenging the census question.
“Today marked 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,” she said.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHolding defiant Trump witnesses to account, Jan. 6 committee carries out Congress's constitutional role Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ House panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents MORE approved the addition of the question in March, despite objections from Democrats and immigration advocates who have said it will discourage people from filling out the decennial questionnaire.
The administration has defended the question, saying that it will allow the Justice Department to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.
A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general, led by New York, filed a lawsuit challenging the addition earlier this year, one of several legal challenges brought against the administration regarding the census question. The census has not asked a question about citizenship for decades.
Furman ordered the Department of Commerce to produce additional documents by July 23 explaining the rationale behind Ross’s decision, according to Underwood's statement.