Kravitz v. United States Dep't of Commerce
Maryland and Arizona residents are challenging the Department of Commerce’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The plaintiffs argue that the decision violates the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act.
This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
A group of individuals from Maryland and Arizona are suing the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau over the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The plaintiffs allege that the addition of the question will reduce census response rates and produce a disproportionate undercount in states with high numbers of certain demographic groups, including non-English speakers, people of Hispanic or Latino origin, and immigrants.
The plaintiffs contend that, because the citizenship question would produce an inaccurate and incomplete head count, the Commerce Department’s decision to add it violates the federal government’s constitutional requirement to conduct an “actual enumeration” of every person living in the country. The suit also claims that the department added the citizenship question without adequately assessing its likely impact on response rates. For this and other reasons, the plaintiffs assert, the Commerce Department’s decision also violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to block the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau from including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
On June 6, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing, among other things, that the plaintiffs lack standing and that their claims raise political questions that federal courts cannot resolve.
- Complaint (April 11, 2018)
- First Amended Complaint (May 3, 2018)
- Order (May 31, 2018)
- Motion to Dismiss (June 6, 2018)
- Notice of Filing Administrative Record Certification and Index (June 8, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (June 22, 2018)