Second Court Blocks Census Citizenship Question

March 6, 2019

A federal court in California has blocked the Census Bureau from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, becoming the second court to do so. The court found that the Bureau made an arbitrary decision to include the citizenship question, then engaged in a "cynical search to find some reason, any reason" to "justify that preordained result." A federal court in New York recently blocked the citizenship question in a different case, but the Supreme Court is set to review that decision. In EPIC v. Commerce, EPIC alleges that the Bureau failed to conduct and publish required privacy impact assessments before making an uninformed decision to collect citizenship data. EPIC is seeking an injunction from the D.C. Circuit, which will hear arguments in the case in May. EPIC's appeal is EPIC v. Commerce, No. 19-5031 (D.C. Cir.).

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