ACLU threatens legal action if White House attempts to add census citizenship question

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened further legal action if the Trump administration makes a renewed push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s effort to add a census citizenship question was illegal because it was based on a ‘contrived’ rationale. Despite that, and despite DOJ’s repeated statements that the census questionnaire cannot be changed after June 30, the administration is now examining whether it can concoct a ‘new rationale’ for its citizenship question,” ACLU Voting Rights Project Director Dale Ho said in a statement


“The answer is no, it cannot — at least not a legal one. Any attempt at an end run around the Supreme Court’s decision will be unsuccessful, and will be met swiftly in court,” Ho added.

The Supreme Court late last month ruled against the administration in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU over its effort to add the citizenship question, saying it had not given adequate reasoning. A Justice Department lawyer said Tuesday the attempt to change the decennial population count would be dropped and that census forms would begin to be printed. 

However, the agency reversed course Wednesday, saying it’s been ordered to determine whether there is a way the administration can include a citizenship question.

“We think there may be a legally available path under the Supreme Court's decision. We're examining that, looking at near-term options to see whether that's viable and possible,” Joseph Hunt, an assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s civil division, said Wednesday.

President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE appeared undeterred by Tuesday’s news, doubling down on what he believes is the importance of the question to the population count. 

"We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question," he tweeted Wednesday morning.