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Queens Chronicle

Citizenship question remanded by Supreme Court

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 3:11 pm

Civic, labor and elected officials in New York City are applauding Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to remand a lawsuit challenging the presence of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census back to federal district court for further adjudication.

Published and broadcast reports said the court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce, did not offer an adequate explanation of its reasons for wanting the question on the Census.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court’s four liberal justices in the ruling.

But in a separate decision, Roberts joined the conservatives in a 5-4 ruling stating, according to Reuters, that “the U.S. Constitution does not in theory prevent the administration from adding a citizenship question.”

Critics of the question assert that it is an attempt by the Trump administration to intimidate immigrants into not participating in the Census, thus causing an undercount in big cities.

 The de Blasio administration hailed the ruling.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to send the citizenship question back to the lower court is a key victory in our fight, but the battle is not over,” de Blasio said in a statement issued by his office. “Cities across the country have stood together and made clear: if you live in the United States, regardless of immigration status, you are seen, you are heard and you must be counted. We must continue to resoundingly reject the politics of division and hate and fight for the fair representation this nation was built on. The President’s hateful administration won’t silence our voice. We must all stand up and be counted.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, in a press release, reiterated that the ruling does not end the case.

“Every single person in this country deserves to be counted, plain and simple. We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision today,” she said. “This one question could have caused a substantial undercount, particularly of noncitizens and Latinos. Thanks to the Court, the census will remain a tool for delivering on our government’s promise of fairness and equity, and states, like New York, will not be shortchanged out of critical resources or political representation. Our democracy withstood this challenge, but make no mistake, many threats continue to lie ahead from the Trump Administration and we will not stop fighting.”

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