Manatt’s John Libby, leader of the firm’s investigations and white collar defense group, spoke to Law360 about a Supreme Court case challenging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Courts in Maryland, New York and California have blocked the Trump administration’s push to include the question on the Census. Libby served as counsel to plaintiffs in the California case, representing the city of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
Judge Seeborg of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California ruled on March 6 that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census violate the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Libby said he expects the justices will most likely start by examining whether the parties have standing to bring the suit and whether the citizenship question is judicially reviewable.
The Supreme Court has requested briefing on whether the question violates the Constitution’s enumeration clause, but Libby said it is “very hard to predict how that will come up during the argument since the record on that issue is limited in the case before them.”
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