Arguments Set for EPIC Appeal to Block Census Citizenship Question

February 26, 2019

The D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral argument for May in EPIC's expedited appeal to block the Census Bureau from collecting citizenship information in the 2020 Census. EPIC alleges that the Bureau failed to complete privacy impact assessments required by the E-Government Act before adding the question. A lower court denied EPIC's motion for a preliminary injunction, agreeing that the Bureau is required to conduct the detailed assessments, but oddly concluding that it is not required to do so "until the Bureau mails its first batch of Census questionnaires to the public"—a view entirely at odds with the relevant law. A federal court in New York recently blocked the citizenship question in a different case, but the Supreme Court will now review that decision. EPIC has filed numerous successful lawsuits to require privacy impact assessments, including EPIC's case that led a now-defunct Presidential Commission to delete state voter data it unlawfully obtained. EPIC's appeal is EPIC v. Commerce, No. 19-5031 (D.C. Cir.).

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