The U.S. Supreme Court late last month ruled that the question of citizenship cannot be included among those asked in the 2020 census, a blow to the administration of President Donald Trump, which had pushed hard to have it included although the question had not been since 1950.
The Supreme Court, the highest court in the U.S., last month blocked the citizenship question via a 5-4 majority.
According to Chief Justice John Roberts there is concern surrounding the motives for including the citizenship question by Trump’s Commerce Department.
“The sole stated reason (for including the question) … seems to have been contrived,” Roberts wrote.
Following the court’s ruling, the Trump administration declared its willingness to push for the inclusion of the citizenship question on the census in the future.
The census is used, for example, to collect information which determines distribution of federal funding and allocation of seats in the U.S. Congress.It is conducted every 10 years and requires participation by all residents of the U.S.
According to the Department of Commerce, which administers the census, the inclusion of the citizenship question was necessary to comply with voting rights law at the federal level.
However, those opposing believe exposing residents to the citizenship question would serve as a deterrent to non-U.S. citizens, including thousands from the Caribbean, who fear the information would be used to discriminate against them. Trump has heavily backed the inclusion of the citizenship question.
“Can you believe that the Radical Left Democrats want to do our new and very important Census Report without the all important Citizenship Question. Report would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together!” he wrote on Twitter in April.
Lower courts have ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not have the authority to include the question on the census and questioned his motives for doing so.