San Jose v. Ross
The City of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce arguing that the Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census violates the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act.
This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The City of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) are suing the Department of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Census Bureau, and acting Census Director Ron Jarmin over the Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The plaintiffs allege that adding the question will exacerbate historic undercounts in African-American, Latino, and other minority communities, leading to losses in congressional representation and federal funding for San Jose and causing BAJI to divert resources to address census issues.
Because the addition of the question will depress census responses, the complaint contends, the decision to add it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that the government conduct an “actual enumeration” of the nation’s entire population. The plaintiffs also contend that adding the question will inevitably lead to a violation of the government’s federal constitutional duty to apportion congressional seats based on the “whole number of persons” residing in each state. Finally, the complaint contends that the government has violated the Administrative Procedure Act’s bars on unlawful and arbitrary agency decision-making by, among other things, inadequately testing the effects of adding the citizenship question on its ability to perform a fair and accurate count.
The plaintiffs are seeking both preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the Census Bureau from including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
The court consolidated the discovery schedule in this case with the schedule in another citizenship-question suit, State of California v. Ross.
On August 17, the court denied the government's motion to dismiss, allowing the plaintiffs to proceed on their Enumeration Clause claim, their Apportionment Clause claim, and their Administrative Procedure Act claims. The court also granted the plaintiffs discovery beyond the administrative record.
The Brennan Center filed an amicus brief with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Muslim Advocates, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, NALEO Educational Fund, et al., supporting the plaintiffs in their efforts to block the citizenship question.
Brennan Center Filings
Filings, Orders and Opinions
- Complaint (April 17, 2018)
- Order Setting Initial Case Management Conference and ADR Deadlines (April 17, 2018)
- Order (May 22, 2018)
- Notice of Filing of Administrative Record (June 8, 2018)
- Order (June 12, 2018)
- Motion to Expand Discovery Beyond the Administrative Record (June 14, 2018)
- Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Review on the Administrative Record (June 14, 2018)
- Stipulation Regarding Briefing Schedule and Excess Pages for Defendants' Motion to Dismiss; Order (June 18, 2018)
- Notice of Filing Supplement to Administrative Record (June 21, 2018)
- Opposition to Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Review on the Administrative Record (June 21, 2018)
- Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (June 21, 2018)
- Defendants' Reply in Support of Review on the Administrative Records (June 21, 2018)
- Joint Rule 26(F) Report and Initial Case Management Conference Statement (June 21, 2018)
- Amicus Brief of Project on Fair Representation in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (July 2,2018)
- Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (July 17, 2018)
- Amicus Brief of the Brennan Center for Justice, et al. in Support of Plaintiffs (July 24, 2018)
- Defendants' Reply Brief in Further Support of Motion to Dismiss (July 31, 2018)
- Opinion and Order re: Motion to Dismiss (August 17, 2018)
- Order Granting Discovery Outside of the Administrative Record (August 17, 2018)
- Order re: Case Schedule (August 30, 2018)
- Defendants' Answer to Complaint (August 31, 2018)