Timeline: The Census Citizenship Question's Unusual Journey To The Supreme Court

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On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dept. Commerce v. Sotomayor asked. "Are you suggesting they don't have - whether it is rational or not - a legitimate fear?" But his conservative allies, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, in their respective concurrences, said that that states should be able to use whatever metric they'd like and said a separate case should decide this question on whether states have that latitude. Judges previously also ruled that asking whether people are citizens would violate the provision of the Constitution that calls for a count of the population, regardless of citizenship status, every 10 years.

Chief Justice John Roberts challenged New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, whose state sued the administration over the plan to add the question, saying citizenship is critical information for enforcing the Voting Rights Act.

"There's always going to be a tradeoff", he told the court.

That question has appeared on the long-form Census for decades, as well as on the American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, two large-scale annual surveys conducted by the Census Bureau to estimate key statistics about the population.

Citizenship has not been asked of all households since the 1950 census.

That history complicates the argument over adding it back in.

Do you think it wouldn't help voting rights enforcement?

The Trump administration says evidence that the question would depress participation in the census and reduce its accuracy was unclear enough that Ross was justified in overriding the recommendation of experts at the Census Bureau.

The Commerce Department claims it added the citizenship question at the behest of the Justice Department, which purportedly needs better data to enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). But at three separate trials, it became clear his motives and methods were different. Justice Elena Kagan called it "shopping for a need". Indeed, Congress has forbidden religion questions.

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison is among 190 elected officials across the country who signed another brief in support of those opposing the citizenship question. Ginsburg said. "Congress is silent".

Senior US, Russian officials discuss N.Korea
Japan has publicly backed Trump's drive to make peace with North Korea but has been cautious on chances for success. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said before talks at the Pentagon with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives sent its top lawyer, Douglas N. Letter, to argue against Mr. Trump.

But soon the justices turned to congressional inaction.

According to those who watch SCOTUS closely and were in the room, it looks like the Trump administration is on the way to a win.

Nearly 20 states, numerous nation's largest cities, and immigrant rights groups say the question would make immigrants reluctant to respond to census takers, resulting in an under-count of the population.

But Judge Richard Seeborg's ruling in California is the more wide-reaching.

The Supreme Court, with includes Trump's conservative appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, has handed the Republican president victories on some major policies, including a year ago allowing his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries. Elsewhere, Kavanaugh noted that questions about citizenship are common practice in other industrialized nations.

President Donald Trump is in favor of the citizenship question, and he tweeted about it earlier this month.

The court is expected to issue a ruling on the case in June.

It was the Justice Department request, however, that Mr. Ross publicly cited as his reason for the inclusion.

But the judges said the motives and means matter, and there the Trump administration cut too many corners. The Census will be carried out beginning April 1, 2020. Critics say adding the question would discourage many immigrants from being counted.

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