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Supreme Court Will Quickly Decide Census Question

Justices will decide by June whether citizenship query can be included
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2019 1:37 PM CST
File photo of an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident.   (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith, File)

(Newser) – "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" The Supreme Court said Friday it would decide whether that politically volatile question can be added to the 2020 census, reports NPR. The court scheduled arguments for April in order to have a decision before census forms get printed in June, reports the New York Times. The White House is pushing to include the question, but it faces a barrage of lawsuits from opponents. Critics say it would discourage households with immigrants from participating, which would result in an inaccurate count and affect federal funds and representation in Congress.

Commerce chief Wilbur Ross, however, says the question is necessary to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, reports the AP. When a federal judge in New York ruled against the administration in January, the White House appealed directly to the Supreme Court justices to take up the case. No such question has been included in the US census in 70 years. (Justice Ginsburg was back at the court Friday to participate in the decision to hear this case.)

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