Federal judge refuses Trump’s request to delay ruling on census citizenship question so Supremes can rule

A federal judge in California is denying the Trump administration’s request to delay a ruling on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Judge Richard Seeborg, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and an Obama appointee,  refused to stay the ruling following the government’s request to await a US Supreme Court decision, The Hill reported.

(Image: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore)

“The Court intends to issue a decision in this matter as soon as practicable,” Seeborg said in his ruling.

A New York federal district court ruled last month to block the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question on the 2020 census.

The administration followed up by asking the Supreme Court to review the issue, bypassing the appellate court level.

The Supreme Court on Friday scheduled arguments to begin in April on the ruling by the federal judge in the New York case which barred Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from adding the question to the 2020 census. The Supreme Court will be deciding if the question “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” should be included.

“The attempts by the Trump administration to mandate a question about citizenship were not rooted in a desire to strengthen the census process and would only undermine our immigrant communities,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on the decision last month. “Inciting fear in our residents is not only immoral but also ill-conceived.”

Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question in March 2018 and was immediately hit with multiple lawsuits.

“Secretary Ross, the only person with legal authority over the census, reasonably decided to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census in response to the Department of Justice’s request for better citizenship data, to protect voters against racial discrimination. Our government is legally entitled to include a citizenship question on the census and people in the United States have a legal obligation to answer,” the Justice Department said in a statement to NBC News earlier this month.

“Reinstating the citizenship question ultimately protects the right to vote and helps ensure free and fair elections for all Americans,” the statement read.

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