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2020 Census Litigation

The Brennan Center for Justice is fighting in court to ensure the vital census count is done fairly and accurately.


Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count —  the census — of all the people living in the coun­try. The U.S. Consti­tu­tion requires the govern­ment to count every adult and child, citizens and noncit­izens. The census count not only determ­ines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Repres­ent­at­ives but also affects how and where federal, state, and local govern­ments alloc­ate funds for educa­tion, social services, infra­struc­ture, and more. 

Despite its vital import­ance, the 2020 Census faced a myriad of risks. These risks included efforts to add a citizen­ship ques­tion to the census, insuf­fi­cient fund­ing for the Census Bureau’s basic oper­a­tions, delayed and inad­equate prepar­a­tion for 2020, and poten­tial politi­ciz­a­tion of the count.

The Bren­nan Center and others mobil­ized to address these risks through legal action in the federal courts, action that resul­ted in a victory over efforts to add an untested citizen­ship ques­tion. In addi­tion to parti­cip­at­ing in many of these cases, we have tracked major devel­op­ments in the key cases to keep the public informed.

Litigation About the Upcoming Census

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