Attorneys Discuss Potential Future of 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Trump Unlikely To Salvage Census Citizenship Question
– Law360

Manatt’s John Libby, a partner and leader of the firm’s investigations and white collar defense group, spoke to Law360 about President Trump’s pledge to delay the 2020 Census to fight the Supreme Court’s decision blocking the inclusion of a question about citizenship status.

The Court ruled on June 27 that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross "contrived" his reasoning for the inclusion of the citizenship question, based on their review of agency records and additional evidence submitted in the case. 

Libby and a team of Manatt attorneys, along with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Public Counsel, served as counsel to the city of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration where they successfully challenged the addition of a citizenship question in California in March. He said that it would be a “difficult path” for the Department of Commerce to present a new record that addresses the discrepancies in Ross’s testimony for the Supreme Court.

"I find it hard to believe that Commerce can unring the bell of the prior history that [Chief Justice John Roberts] cites in his opinion, which is that, for months, Secretary Ross and his staff were trying to find a way to add the citizenship question without any reference to the Voting Rights Act," Libby said.

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