US to pursue citizenship question on census but path unclear ,
The Justice Department said Friday it will press its search for legal grounds to force the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, hours after President Donald Trump said he is “very seriously” considering an executive order to get the question on the form.
Trump said his administration is exploring a number of legal options, but the Justice Department did not say exactly what options remain now that the Supreme Court has barred the question at least temporarily.
The government has already begun the process of printing the census questionnaire without that question. The administration’s focus on asking broadly about citizenship for the first time since 1950 reflects the enormous political stakes and potential costs in the once-a-decade population ,
Count that determines the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives for the next 10 years and the distribution of some $675 billion in federal spending.
“You need it for Congress, for districting,” he said Friday. “How many people are there? Districts now are based on the total population. Some Republicans want them based on the population of eligible voters, The Trump administration repeatedly argued the census forms could not be altered after June 30.
They’ve now changed their tune because the Supreme Court ruled against them. They can’t have it both ways,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting rights project.
Trump’s administration has faced numerous roadblocks to adding the question, like last week’s Supreme Court ruling that blocked its inclusion, at least for now. Both the Justice and Commerce departments indicated on Tuesday that they were moving forward with the census, minus the citizenship question.