Supreme Court Signals Support for Trump's Census Citizenship Question

Supreme Court to hear arguments on citizenship census question

Those worries deepened Tuesday when the U.S.

But local media reported on Tuesday that the conservative-majority Supreme Court seemed poised to side with the government and allow the census to go ahead with the question.

As such, the plaintiffs warn that the government's move strikes at the very heart of democracy, since population is used to apportion federal funds, seats in Congress, and draw legislative district lines. Census data released this month showed the Chicago area lost about 22,000 residents from 2017 to 2018 - marking the fourth consecutive year of population loss. For instance, Politico estimated that California is already on the verge of losing one of its 53 seats in the House, a result of a shrinking population.

Nearly 20 states, numerous nation's largest cities, and immigrant rights groups say the question would make immigrants reluctant to respond to census takers, resulting in an under-count of the population. It was the first time Alberding could recall the foundation taking such a step. In turn, Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointedly asked if he was accusing Latinos as a group of boycotting the census, which is unlawful.

"Who should decide?" Justice Ginsburg said. Justice Stephen G. Breyer pointed to a Census Bureau expert who said the citizenship question would reduce census responses among noncitizen households by about 6.5 million people, and end up with less accurate data than using statistical models.

Such concerns about an undercount weighed on judges in three lower courts that so far have blocked the plan to ask every US resident about citizenship.

The government said the question has been asked before, provides important information and besides, refusing to answer the census is illegal, so catering to the potential for Americans' to take illegal action is fraught with its own perils.

A citizenship question was standard on the full census for more than 100 years, then was shunted to the so-called "long form" census along with a bunch of other demographic and sociological questions in 1960.

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Inside the courtroom, there appeared to be a clear divide between the court's five conservative justices and the four more liberal-leaning justices, U.S. media reported.

The Supreme Court's conservative justices seemed ready Tuesday to preserve the Trump administration's addition of a question about a person's citizenship status to the 2020 decennial census.

During about 80 minutes of arguments, Roberts and other conservative justices appeared to accept the administration's argument that the question would yield better data to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects eligible voters from discrimination. "I mean, the questions go quite beyond how many people there are".

The citizenship question is dear to Mr. Trump's heart.

"Report would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together!" One judge concluded that perhaps 5 percent of people would refuse to fill out the 2020 census because of the question.

Lower courts ruled that the administration violated federal law and the U.S. Constitution in seeking to include the question on the census form.

Anaya said she has been part of meetings with various stakeholders to create an educational campaign for residents whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision. "We want their information to be secure". "We want to make sure that people have the correct information". It's due to start in January in remote parts of Alaska, and the rest of the country will be able to start responding by March 16, 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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