A federal judge in New York has barred the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said Tuesday that while such a question would be constitutional, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and not followed proper procedure.
The ruling came in a case in which a dozen states or big cities and immigrants’ rights groups argued that adding the question might frighten immigrant households away from participating in the census.
“This attempt by the Trump Administration to disenfranchise and intimidate the immigrant community is an affront to the democratic ideals of this country,” U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) said in a statement. “Today’s court ruling is a victoroy for the rule of law and moves us forward.”
As a Cook County Board Commissioner, Garcia filed an affidavit in connection with the lawsuit to express his concerns about how the citizenship question could affect his constituents.
The decision won’t be the final word on the matter.
A separate suit on the same issue, filed by the state of California, is underway in San Francisco.
The U.S. Supreme Court is also poised to address the issue in February.