The Supreme Court has agreed to assist in ruling on a specific aspect within the case for a proposed citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The court decided today that it will decide whether or not the federal district court judge in New York currently hearing the lawsuit will be able to include depositions from senior government officials about their motivations for adding the question as evidence in the case.
Because the trial in New York is already almost over, the sitting judge, Jesse Furman, may have to delay his decision until after February 19, when the Supreme Court will be able to hear the arguments.
Many civil and human rights organizations have strongly opposed the inclusion of such a question on the census, arguing that it will dissuade undocumented residents from participating, thus skewing the data to depict an unrealistic, inaccurate population.
Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had initiated the fight against the addition of the question back in April when he filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Commerce along with 16 other states, the District of Columbia, and six cities.
Recently, the Supreme Court chose to protect Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to answer to his role in adding the question to the census; Mother Jones reported that Ross lied under oath to Congress when he said that the Justice Department requested the addition of the question when, in reality, it was Ross himself.
If the Supreme Court rules that personal commentary can be admitted as evidence in this case, the views of people like Mr. Ross will become readily apparent, as will their influence on the push to add such an obviously suppressive question.
Iron Triangle Press continues to follow this story.