City of 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 claiming 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 will hold a case management conference with the parties on July 17.
- Complaint (April 17, 2018)
- Order Setting Initial Case Management Conference and ADR Deadlines (April 17, 2018)