La Union Del Pubelo Entero v. Ross
Asian-American and Latino groups filed a lawsuit against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross challenging the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The plaintiffs argue that the Department’s 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.
Twenty-five Asian-American, African-American, Native-American, Latino, and immigrant groups are suing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Department of Commerce, the Acting Director of the Census Bureau, and the Census Bureau for the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The plaintiffs allege the addition of the question will discourage Latinos, Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, and noncitizens from responding to the census form, and result in a disproportionate undercount, consequently diluting their political representation and federal funding to their communities.
The suit contends the addition of the question is intended to severely undercount Latino, Asian Americans, immigrants, and other populations, a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs also allege the decision infringes the federal government’s duty to conduct an “actual enumeration” of every person in this county and apportion congressional seats based upon a count of “the whole number of persons,” violating the Apportionment and Enumeration Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Finally, the plaintiffs allege that Secretary Ross and the Acting Director of the Census Bureau conspired with others - including members of the Trump Administration - to violate the equal protection rights of Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and foreign-born persons.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the citizenship question is unauthorized by the Constitution and violates the APA. The plaintiffs are also asking the court to enjoin the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau from including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
During the motion to dismiss briefing, the Brennan Center filed an amicus brief with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Muslim Advocates and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, supporting the plaintiffs in their efforts to block the citizenship question.
The district court has scheduled trial to begin on January 22, 2019.
Brennan Center Filings
- Amicus Brief of the Brennan Center for Justice, et al. in Support of Plaintiffs (September 13, 2018)
Filings, Orders and Opinions
- Complaint (May 31, 2018)
- Amended Complaint (July 9, 2018)
- Motion to Dismiss (August 24, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Opposed Request for Entry of a Scheduling Order (August 31, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (September 7, 2018)
- Reply Memorandum of Law in Further Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (September 14, 2018)
- Scheduling Order (September 20, 2018)
- Defendants' Response in Opposition to Letter Motion re: Discovery and Depose Non-Party Kris Kobach (October 5, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Letter Brief in Reply to Defendants' Response in Opposition to Letter Motion re: Discovery and Depose Non-Party Kris Kobach (October 12, 2018)