Supreme Court will hear census case, setting up showdown over citizenship question 

The Supreme Court on Friday said This kind of would certainly hear a case concerning whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross can be questioned about his reasons for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The case will be one of the most closely watched of the term. Eighteen states along with also also more than a dozen cities have sued the administration over the question, alleging that will This kind of will lead immigrant populations to be systematically undercounted.

The justices said earlier This kind of month that will a trial in brand-new York testing the legality of the question could move forward, however they temporarily blocked Ross’s deposition within the matter.

The Trump administration has argued that will Ross’s testimony is usually unnecessary for a ruling on whether the question itself is usually lawful. This kind of has argued that will adding the question is usually necessary in order to uphold provisions of the Voting Rights Act that will protect minority populations.

The census is usually generally politically contentious. This kind of is usually used to determine the number of congressional seats each state has within the House of Representatives, along with also also is usually only conducted once every 10 years, meaning the political ramifications of the 2020 census will be felt through 2030. Keeping the question on the census could disadvantage Democrats, who tend to live in cities, where immigration populations are higher.

The census was an issue in This kind of month’s midterm races. The state legislative races on the ballot determine which party redraws congressional district lines after the census is usually completed. that will enables the victorious party to draw favorable districts along with also also has proven influential in determining the makeup of Congress.

Opponents of adding the citizenship question have alleged that will This kind of was inserted to intentionally undercount certain populations for political purposes. They cite research produced by the Census Bureau, which has found that will including the question would certainly lead to a “higher fieldwork costs along with also also a lower-quality population count.”

They have also pointed to a shifting timeline in how Ross has said he came to his decision to include the question. At first, Ross said that will his decision was based on a recommendation via the Department of Justice. however documents have surfaced as a result of ongoing litigation showing Ross asked staff members to solicit the recommendation.

The documents also contradict testimony Ross provided to lawmakers in March saying he was “not aware” of speaking to the president or anyone else within the White House about the matter.

In a document filed by the DOJ in a related case in brand-new York, the government said that will within the spring of 2017, Ross discussed the addition of a citizenship question with Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, as well as Jeff Sessions, who was attorney general until last week.

The Commerce Department has said that will the document supplements however does not contradict Ross’s testimony.

The controversy is usually likely to be probed by House Democrats, who will take control of Congress’s lower chamber early next year. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, has said This kind of is usually one of his chief investigative priorities.

The government requested that will the high court hear argument within the case after a federal appeals court ruled that will Ross would certainly have to be deposed. The justices placed a temporary halt on the deposition in October. that will halt will remain in place until the court reaches a decision within the case, which is usually expected by late June.

Oral argument is usually scheduled for Feb. 19.

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