Supreme Court to Decide Whether Citizenship Question Can Appear on 2020 Census - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

In early April, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether it’s okay to include a citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census.

There hasn’t been a citizenship question on the census for nearly 70 years, and this time, it’s subject to all kinds of legal challenges.

The question is, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” The options:

  • Yes, born in the United States
  • Yes, born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Northern Marianas
  • Yes, born abroad of U.S. citizen parent or parents
  • Yes, U.S. citizen by naturalization (with a requirement to print the year the person was naturalized)
  • No, not a U.S. citizen

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross initially approved the request.

Some of the question’s opponents say that asking about citizenship will prevent people from participating in the census – and we won’t get an accurate accounting of people who live here in the U.S. Census bureau research says as much, too.

An accurate accounting is incredibly important. The number of people counted in the census determine how many congressional seats are allocated among districts, as well as how many Electoral College votes each state gets. These numbers also determine how much federal money is sent to states and communities for schools, Medicare and other public services.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of New York ordered the government to abandon its plans to include the question on the census, but the Trump administration is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on it. Furman wrote a 277-page opinion on the case, saying that court filings show Ross decided to pressure the Justice Department to “ask” to include the question after talking with nationalist Steve Bannon.

What Do You Think?

Do you believe there should be a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census? How do you expect the Supreme Court to rule?

I’d love to hear what you think, so please share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino