Monday, March 18, 2019

Justices add constitutional question to citizenship case


Amy Howe on SCOTUSBlog reports on the latest development in the Census 2020 case before the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 23, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the challenge to the citizenship question on the 2020 census. The Court originally granted review to decide whether that decision violated federal laws governing administrative agencies, but last Friday the justices announced that they will also consider whether the decision violates the Constitution.

The justices’ order adding the constitutional issue to the case came after U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco sent a letter to the clerk of the Supreme Court. The letter stated that a federal district court in California had ruled that the addition of the citizenship question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires the “actual Enumeration” of the U.S. population every 10 years, to allow congressional representatives to be evenly divided among the states. The only way to finally resolve whether the federal government can bring back the citizenship question, the government stressed, is to have the justices take up the constitutional issue too.


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