Supreme Court Won’t Review Deeply Flawed Ruling in EPIC v. Commerce
April 27, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a deeply flawed ruling in EPIC v. Commerce, EPIC's suit to halt the collection of citizenship data in the 2020 Census due to the government's failure to complete required privacy impact assessments. Under the E-Government Act, federal agencies must make privacy impact assessments "publicly available" before undertaking a new collection of personal data. Yet a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled that the statute does not "vest a general right of information in the public" that would allow EPIC—one of the leading privacy organizations in the country—to obtain information about the government's data collection practices. Last year, the Supreme Court's decision in Commerce v. New York led to the removal of the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. EPIC filed an amicus brief in support of that outcome.