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Annotated Guide to the Amicus Briefs in the Supreme Court’s Citizenship Question Case

As the Supreme Court takes up challenges to the 2020 Census citizenship question, almost 50 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed.

Published: April 11, 2019

On April 23, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear oral argu­ment in Depart­ment of Commerce v. New York, a chal­lenge to Commerce Secret­ary Wilbur Ross’s contro­ver­sial decision to add a citizen­ship ques­tion to the 2020 Census. In a tell-tale sign of this case’s signi­fic­ance, a diverse array of civil rights groups, states, elec­ted offi­cials, former Census Bureau lead­ers, busi­nesses, found­a­tions, and social science experts filed 36 friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the chal­lengers who are urging the Supreme Court to strike down the ques­tion. Nine briefs were filed in support of the Commerce Depart­ment, while one brief was filed in support of neither party.

To help sort through the briefs, the Bren­nan Center has prepared this annot­ated guide summar­iz­ing each brief’s most prom­in­ent or unique points.

For the Bren­nan Center’s brief in support of the chal­lengers, click here. For more inform­a­tion on the citizen­ship ques­tion cases, visit our regu­larly updated case pages and calen­dar of upcom­ing hear­ings and dead­lines. Addi­tional inform­a­tion from the Bren­nan Center about the history of the census and citizen­ship ques­tions is avail­able at SCOTUS­b­log and the Los Angeles Times. And for the latest on other chal­lenges facing the 2020 Census, visit our census resource page.

Briefs Provid­ing Bipar­tisan Perspect­ives

Brief of Former Census Bureau Direct­ors in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by five former direct­ors of the U.S. Census Bureau who served under both Repub­lican and Demo­cratic admin­is­tra­tions, argues that stud­ies have consist­ently shown—and the Census Bureau has consist­ently concluded—that asking a citizen­ship ques­tion of every­one on the decen­nial census would produce a less accur­ate count and lower qual­ity census data. The brief further argues that Secret­ary Ross’s addi­tion of the citizen­ship ques­tion viol­ated the Census Bureau’s long­stand­ing prac­tices and policies for chan­ging the census. The law firm of Mayer Brown LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of John R. Dunne, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by six former heads of the Civil Rights Divi­sion of the Depart­ment of Justice who served under Repub­lican and Demo­cratic admin­is­tra­tions, argues that block-level citizen­ship data from the decen­nial census will not help enforce the Voting Rights Act. Moreover, the brief argues, the citizen­ship ques­tion is likely to under­mine Voting Rights Act enforce­ment because it will lead to an under­count of Lati­nos and other minor­it­ies. Samuel R. Bagen­s­tos and Justin Levitt are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Current Members of Congress and Bipar­tisan Former Members of Congress in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by a bipar­tisan group of current and former members of Congress, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion under­mines the federal govern­ment’s consti­tu­tional oblig­a­tion to count all persons in the enumer­a­tion. The Members emphas­ize that Secret­ary Ross’s stated justi­fic­a­tion for adding the citizen­ship ques­tion (Voting Rights Act enforce­ment) does not trump this consti­tu­tional oblig­a­tion or the mandates of the Census Act, espe­cially since citizen­ship data can be acquired through admin­is­trat­ive records. The Consti­tu­tional Account­ab­il­ity Center is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Former Federal District Judges in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by five former federal district court judges who were appoin­ted by both Repub­lican and Demo­cratic Pres­id­ents, argues that it is crucial for appel­late courts to defer to the factual find­ings of trial courts because trial courts are best suited to make accur­ate factual find­ings. It further argues that, under the clear-error stand­ard of review applic­able to Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act decisions, the Supreme Court should uphold the trial court’s determ­in­a­tion that Secret­ary Ross’s reas­ons for adding the citizen­ship ques­tion were pretextual. The law firm of Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Fred­er­ick, PLLC is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief for 190 Bipar­tisan Elec­ted Offi­cials in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by 190 bipar­tisan elec­ted offi­cials, counties, and cities from 13 states—ar­gues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will harm states and indi­vidu­als across the coun­try because it will lead to an unequal distri­bu­tion of federal fund­ing. The brief specific­ally high­lights the harms the under­count would cause to people who rely on Title I fund­ing for at-risk school­chil­dren and fund­ing for crime victims’ assist­ance programs. The law firms of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whar­ton & Garrison LLP and Rosen­stein & Birken­stock, P.C. are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Discuss­ing the Voting Rights Act

Brief of the Lead­er­ship Confer­ence on Civil and Human Rights, the Bren­nan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law, and Civil Soci­ety Organ­iz­a­tions in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by the Bren­nan Center for Justice, the Lead­er­ship Confer­ence on Civil and Human Rights, and over 170 other civil soci­ety organ­iz­a­tion­s—chal­lenges the Commerce Depart­ment’s claim that citizen­ship data derived from the decen­nial census is neces­sary to enforce the Voting Rights Act. The brief argues that Voting Rights Act litig­ants have long success­fully used citizen­ship data from sources other than the decen­nial census to vindic­ate their rights, and that collect­ing citizen­ship data on the census would actu­ally under­mine enforce­ment of the Act because the citizen­ship ques­tion would exacer­bate under­counts of the communit­ies the Act is meant to protect. The brief further explains the long-last­ing harms that a citizen­ship ques­tion would inflict upon minor­ity communit­ies. The Bren­nan Center, the Lead­er­ship Confer­ence on Civil and Human Rights, and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pick­er­ing Hale and Dorr LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of NAACP Legal Defense & Educa­tional Fund, Inc. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educa­tional Fund, argues that citizen­ship data from the decen­nial census is not neces­sary to enforce the Voting Rights Act. It further argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion would under­mine racial equal­ity and exacer­bate the under­count of the Black popu­la­tion, which has histor­ic­ally gone under­coun­ted in the census. NAACP LDF and the law firm of Good­win Procter LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of National Asian Pacific Amer­ican Bar Asso­ci­ation, Asian Amer­ican Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Asian Pacific Amer­ican Bar Asso­ci­ation and the Asian Amer­ican Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will inflict substan­tial harms on the Asian Amer­ican and Pacific Islander community and will under­mine their abil­ity to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Asian Amer­ican Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund, National Asian Pacific Amer­ican Bar Asso­ci­ation and the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Oklahoma, et al. in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by 17 states, argues that states’ efforts to comply with the Voting Rights Act will bene­fit from citizen­ship data collec­ted on the decen­nial census. These states also argue that the admin­is­trat­ive record did not show that the citizen­ship ques­tion will cause an under­count. The Attor­ney General of Oklahoma is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Public Interest Legal Found­a­tion in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by the Public Interest Legal Found­a­tion, argues that citizen­ship data is neces­sary to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and that more precise data than that avail­able from the Amer­ican Community Survey would be help­ful for that enforce­ment. The Public Interest Legal Found­a­tion is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Project on Fair Repres­ent­a­tion in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by the Project on Fair Repres­ent­a­tion, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will improve the data avail­able for draw­ing legis­lat­ive maps and for litig­at­ing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The law firm of Conso­voy McCarthy Park PLLC is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Repub­lican National Commit­tee and the National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by the Repub­lican National Commit­tee and the National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee, argues that asking the citizen­ship ques­tion on the short-form census is the only way to gener­ate “reli­ably accur­ate” citizen­ship data for redis­trict­ing purposes. The National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee, the Repub­lican National Commit­tee, and the law firm of Holtz­man Vogel Jose­fiak Torch­in­sky PLLC are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Judi­cial Watch and Allied Educa­tional Found­a­tion in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by Judi­cial Watch and the Allied Educa­tional Found­a­tion, argues that it would be better to have citizen­ship data derived from the decen­nial census than the data currently avail­able to enforce the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act. Judi­cial Watch, Inc. is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Explain­ing the Harm­ful Impacts of the Citizen­ship Ques­tion

Brief of the Amer­ican Stat­ist­ical Asso­ci­ation, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by four lead­ing stat­ist­ical organ­iz­a­tions, argues that the Commerce Depart­ment did not follow histor­ical and profes­sion­ally respons­ible stat­ist­ical proced­ures for adding ques­tions to the census—such as pretest­ing ques­tion­naires and field test­ing—when it decided to add the citizen­ship ques­tion. The brief further emphas­izes the import­ance of accur­ate census data to public programs and academic research. The law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Busi­nesses and Busi­ness Organ­iz­a­tions in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by 21 busi­nesses from a vari­ety of sectors and three busi­ness organ­iz­a­tion­s—ar­gues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will harm busi­nesses by corrupt­ing data on which they rely for market­ing and product devel­op­ment, as well as by complic­at­ing equit­able alloc­a­tions of federal fund­ing. The brief further argues that, as busi­nesses become increas­ingly data-driven, inac­cur­ate census data will cause increas­ing harm to them. The law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Found­a­tions and Phil­an­thropy-Serving Organ­iz­a­tions in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by 30 phil­an­throp­ies, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will distort census data that found­a­tions and phil­an­thropy-serving organ­iz­a­tions rely upon to determ­ine what projects to fund, includ­ing projects that affect chil­dren and famil­ies, public health, educa­tion, and community and economic devel­op­ment. The law firm of Fried­man Kaplan Seiler & Adel­man LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Nielsen Company (US), LLC in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by a global meas­ure­ment, data, and analyt­ics company that relies on census data to create consumer beha­vior projec­tion­s—­describes the harms inac­cur­ate census data will inflict on the day-to-day oper­a­tions and stra­tegic plan­ning efforts of Amer­ican busi­nesses. The Nielsen Company and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of County of Santa Clara, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by the County of Santa Clara, the City of Los Angeles, nine other local govern­ments, and the National League of Cities—ar­gues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will produce inac­curacies in census figures that are crucial for local govern­ments’ abil­ity to plan for disasters and public health emer­gen­cies, to provide vital services like nutri­tion and crime victims’ services, and to ensure that elect­oral districts advance the prin­ciples of repres­ent­at­ive demo­cracy. The County Coun­sel for the County of Santa Clara and the Los Angeles City Attor­ney are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Coun­cil of the Great City Schools in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by a coali­tion of 74 of the largest urban public school systems in the coun­try–­ex­plains how a differ­en­tial under­count caused by the citizen­ship ques­tion will under­cut federal educa­tion programs, such as Title I fund­ing for low-income school chil­dren and fund­ing for chil­dren living with disab­il­it­ies under the Indi­vidu­als with Disab­il­it­ies Educa­tion Act. The Coun­cil of the Great City Schools and the law firm of Husch Black­well LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Latino Justice PRLDEF and Fifteen Other Organ­iz­a­tions in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed on behalf of Latino Justice PRLDEF and 15 other Latino community organ­iz­a­tions, explains how the current polit­ical envir­on­ment has stoked fears Latino community members’ fears of the federal govern­ment. The citizen­ship ques­tion, the brief argues, will exacer­bate these fears, lead­ing to a differ­en­tial under­count of Lati­nos that will cause them to lose federal fund­ing for social services and dilute their polit­ical power. Latino Justice PRLDEF and the law firm of Locke Lord LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Harris County, Texas, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief—­filed by a Texas county, city, and judge—ar­gues that immig­rants have made substan­tial contri­bu­tions to the diversity and economic viab­il­ity of many areas of Texas, and that the citizen­ship ques­tion will lead to a dispro­por­tion­ate under­count of the immig­rant communit­ies that have allowed Texas to thrive. The Law Office of Susan Hays, PC and the Office of Vince Ryan, Harris County Attor­ney are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Inter­na­tional Muni­cipal Lawyers Asso­ci­ation and the Inter­na­tional City/County Manage­ment Asso­ci­ation in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Inter­na­tional Muni­cipal Lawyers Asso­ci­ation (IMLA) and the Inter­na­tional City/County Manage­ment Asso­ci­ation (ICMA), argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion will harm local govern­ments by distort­ing census data that they use to plan for the needs of their communit­ies. It further argues that the plaintiffs have stand­ing to chal­lenge the citizen­ship ques­tion because the harm they will suffer is not spec­u­lat­ive. IMLA, ICMA and the Wake Forest Univer­sity School of Law Appel­late Advocacy Clinic are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Cent­ral Valley Immig­rant Integ­ra­tion Collab­or­at­ive, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by 25 Cali­for­nia-based community organ­iz­a­tions and service providers, discusses recent research conduc­ted in the San Joaquin Valley that found that the citizen­ship ques­tion will signi­fic­antly reduce census response rates for first- and second-gener­a­tion Lati­nos. Accord­ing to the brief, the study further found that the citizen­ship ques­tion would frus­trate the Census Bureau’s follow-up processes for count­ing people who do not self-respond to the census. The National Immig­ra­tion Law Center is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the KIPP Found­a­tion, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed on the behalf of nonprofit organ­iz­a­tions serving chil­dren and students, describes the “stig­matic and dignit­ary harms” that the citizen­ship ques­tion will have on chil­dren in immig­rant communit­ies of color. The brief further explains how a differ­en­tial under­count will under­mine the well­being of students and chil­dren of color, includ­ing the misal­loc­a­tion of federal funds for public educa­tion programs and social services. The Vincent M. South­er­land Center on Race, Inequal­ity and the Law and the Civil Rights Clinic at the New York Univer­sity School of Law are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Cath­olic Char­it­ies of the Arch­diocese of New York, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed on the behalf of several faith-based organ­iz­a­tions and nonprofits, argues that the differ­en­tial under­count caused by the citizen­ship ques­tion will under­cut nonprofits’ abil­it­ies to provide social services and increase compet­i­tion for scarce resources in vulner­able communit­ies. The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Legal Services NYC, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by 24 public interest organ­iz­a­tions and New York community members, argues that census data is crucial to under­stand­ing the land­scape of needs across their communit­ies. As a result, it further contends, an inac­cur­ate count spurred by the citizen­ship ques­tion will harm their abil­ity to make informed decisions and provide public services. The law firm of Goodrich & Rosati, PC is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of National Coun­cil of Nonprofits, National Human Services Assembly, and YWCA USA in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by several nonprofit organ­iz­a­tions, emphas­izes the harms that an inac­cur­ate census will inflict on nonprofits’ abil­it­ies to achieve their missions by depriving them of federal fund­ing, corrupt­ing the data they use to make decisions, and under­min­ing their communit­ies’ faith in the useful­ness of demo­cratic engage­ment. The National Coun­cil of Nonprofits is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Discuss­ing the Enumer­a­tion Clause

Brief for the City of San Jose and the Black Alli­ance for Just Immig­ra­tion in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the plaintiffs in a chal­lenge to the citizen­ship ques­tion from Cali­for­nia, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion bears no reas­on­able rela­tion­ship to the Enumer­a­tion Clause’s essen­tial goal of achiev­ing equal repres­ent­a­tion. The brief contends that the ques­tion will under­cut the distributive accur­acy of the 2020 Census to a consti­tu­tion­ally imper­miss­ible extent, and that there is no legit­im­ate justi­fic­a­tion for putting the accur­acy of the census at such great risk. The Lawyers’ Commit­tee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phil­lips, LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Plaintiffs in Krav­itz v. United States Depart­ment of Commerce in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the plaintiffs in a chal­lenge to the citizen­ship ques­tion from Mary­land, argues that the histor­ical use of the census to ask other ques­tions unre­lated to the enumer­a­tion does not make the citizen­ship ques­tion consti­tu­tional. This case, the brief posits, “presents the unique situ­ation” in which a proposed ques­tion “will directly impair” the goal of count­ing every­one, in viol­a­tion of the Enumer­a­tion Clause. The law firm of Coving­ton & Burl­ing LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Cali­for­nia Legis­lature in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Cali­for­nia Legis­lature, argues that the trial court incor­rectly dismissed the plaintiffs’ Enumer­a­tion Clause claim before trial. Among other things, the brief contends, the trial court erred in rely­ing on the Admin­is­tra­tion’s histor­ical argu­ment because evid­ence at trial would have rebut­ted that argu­ment. The law firm of Remcho Johansen & Purcell is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the State of Cali­for­nia in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the State of Cali­for­nia, argues that the citizen­ship ques­tion would viol­ate the Enumer­a­tion Clause because it would result in a differ­en­tial under­count that is consti­tu­tion­ally intol­er­able. It further argues that the trial court correctly ordered extra-record discov­ery because abund­ant evid­ence showed that the Commerce Depart­ment acted in bad faith and because extra-record evid­ence helped clarify tech­nical matters and allowed the court to determ­ine all relev­ant factors that Secret­ary Ross should have considered in making his decision. The Attor­ney General of Cali­for­nia is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of United States House of Repres­ent­at­ives in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the U.S. House of Repres­ent­at­ives, argues that the Commerce Depart­ment does not have unre­view­able discre­tion to conduct the decen­nial census because the Depart­ment is limited by the Census Act and by the commands of the Enumer­a­tion Clause. The Office of General Coun­sel for the U.S. House of Repres­ent­at­ives, the Insti­tute for Consti­tu­tional Advocacy and Protec­tion at the Geor­getown Univer­sity Law Center, and the law firm of Hogan Lovells US are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Discuss­ing the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act

Brief of Nich­olas Bagley, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by eight admin­is­trat­ive and consti­tu­tional law schol­ars, argues that Secret­ary Ross’s decision to add the citizen­ship ques­tion is subject to judi­cial review because the Consti­tu­tion and the Census Act limit the secret­ary’s power to conduct the census, and judi­cial review under the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act provides an essen­tial check on unreasoned agency decision­mak­ing. The brief also argues that the plaintiffs have stand­ing to chal­lenge the citizen­ship ques­tion because the Census Bureau’s own stud­ies show that the ques­tion will harm the plaintiffs. The law firm of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Lawyers for Civil Rights, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by nonprofit advocacy organ­iz­a­tions, argues that the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act ensures trans­par­ency and account­ab­il­ity in federal agency decision-making and that judi­cial enforce­ment of the Act is a crit­ical control on arbit­rary agency action. Lawyers for Civil Rights and the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief for the Arab Amer­ican Insti­tute in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Arab Amer­ican Insti­tute, compares the test­ing proced­ures the Census Bureau under­took in decid­ing whether to add a Middle East­ern or North African (MENA) category to the census with the lack of test­ing under­taken for the citizen­ship ques­tion. Accord­ing to the brief, over the decades-long test­ing process for the proposed MENA category, the Bureau concluded that even though the category would improve the accur­acy of census data, it required more test­ing and should not yet be added to the 2020 Census. In contrast, the decision to add a citizen­ship ques­tion was made without subject­ing the ques­tion to any of the stat­utor­ily and regu­lat­or­ily required test­ing, making it arbit­rary and capri­cious. The Arab Amer­ican Insti­tute, ESQelate, and Voruganti Law Firm, PLLC are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of National School Boards Asso­ci­ation, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by educa­tional organ­iz­a­tions, argues that the Commerce Depart­ment’s decisions over the census are not commit­ted by law to the Depart­ment’s unlim­ited discre­tion because the Consti­tu­tion and the Census Act place limits on the Depart­ment’s powers. The brief further argues that the excep­tion to judi­cial review of agency decision­mak­ing is narrow, highly disfavored, and should not be applied to a case like the instant one that stands to impact billions of federal dollars flow­ing to vulner­able popu­la­tions. The National School Boards Asso­ci­ation and the law firm of Latham & Watkins are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Natural Resources Defense Coun­cil in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Natural Resources Defense Coun­cil, argues that the trial court was correct to order extra-record discov­ery because the plaintiffs made a strong show­ing of bad faith, and because the extra evid­ence helped explain complex issues, allow­ing the court to better determ­ine whether the Commerce Depart­ment considered all the relev­ant factors for its decision to add the citizen­ship ques­tion. The National Resources Defense Coun­cil is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Ronald A. Cass and Chris­topher C. Demuth, Sr. in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by two former govern­ment offi­cials, argues that the trial court substi­tuted its own judg­ment for that of Secret­ary Ross’s when the court determ­ined that the Secret­ary’s stated reas­ons for the citizen­ship ques­tion were pretextual. The brief also contends that the judi­ciary is not allowed to probe the mind of an agency decision­maker. The law firm of Cass & Asso­ci­ates, PC is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Immig­ra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by the Immig­ra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute, argues that the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act’s arbit­rary-and-capri­cious stand­ard of review is satis­fied as long as an agency provides a suffi­ciently reas­on­able basis for its decision. It further contends that the district court was wrong to scru­tin­ize whether the Commerce Depart­ment’s stated reason for adding the citizen­ship ques­tion was pretextual. The Immig­ra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Eagle Forum Educa­tion & Legal Defense Fund in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by the Eagle Forum Educa­tion and Legal Defense Fund, argues that the plaintiffs in this case do not have stand­ing to bring a lawsuit in federal court and that the Commerce Depart­ment acted in accord­ance with the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act. Lawrence J. Joseph is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Becket Fund for Reli­gious Liberty in Support of Neither Party

Summary: This brief, filed by the Becket Fund for Reli­gious Liberty, takes no posi­tion on the merits of the citizen­ship ques­tion. It argues that plaintiffs who make inten­tional discrim­in­a­tion claims under the Equal Protec­tion Clause should be entitled to limited extra-record discov­ery in Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act cases. The Becket Fund for Reli­gious Liberty and the law firm of Winston & Strawn are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Provid­ing Addi­tional Factual or Legal Context

Brief of Histor­i­ans and Social Scient­ists in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by a group of prom­in­ent census histor­i­ans and social scient­ists, chal­lenges the Admin­is­tra­tion’s claim that the decision to add a citizen­ship ques­tion to the 2020 Census is merely a “rein­state­ment” of a ques­tion “whose pedi­gree dates back nearly 200 years.” The brief explains that the census has never asked for the citizen­ship status of every­one in the coun­try, and, more import­antly, the census has changed in mater­ial ways that limit the useful­ness of older censuses as models for contem­por­ary censuses. The law firm of Reed Smith, LLP is coun­sel for this brief

Brief of Elec­tronic Privacy Inform­a­tion Center (EPIC) and Twenty-Three Legal Schol­ars in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by the Elec­tronic Privacy Inform­a­tion Center (EPIC) and 23 experts in law and tech­no­logy, argues that the Census Bureau viol­ated section 208 of the E-Govern­ment Act because it failed to conduct a privacy impact assess­ment analyz­ing the poten­tial privacy implic­a­tions of the citizen­ship ques­tion. EPIC is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Common Cause, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by Common Cause and a group of prom­in­ent Repub­lican offi­cials, argues that includ­ing the citizen­ship ques­tion on the 2020 Census viol­ates federal law and the core consti­tu­tional commit­ments to equal repres­ent­a­tion of all people, citizens and non-citizens alike. Common Cause and the law firm of Patter­son Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equal­ity, et al. in Support of Respond­ents

Summary: This brief, filed by concerned Japan­ese-Amer­ican citizens, the Coun­cil on Amer­ican-Islamic Rela­tions, and the Fred T. Korematsu Center, discusses histor­ical incid­ents that have led immig­rant communit­ies and communit­ies of color to distrust the federal govern­ment. The Korematsu Center for Law and Equal­ity at the Seattle Univer­sity School of Law, Ronald A. Peterson of the Law Clinic at Seattle Univer­sity School of Law, and the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Citizens United, et al. in Support of Peti­tion­ers

Summary: This brief, filed by a group of found­a­tions and social welfare organ­iz­a­tions, argues that the history of the Four­teenth Amend­ment indic­ates that the census does not have to count every­one in the coun­try. Restor­ing Liberty Action Commit­tee and the law firm of William J. Olson, PC are co-coun­sel for this brief

 

Annot­atedGui­deSCOTUS­Briefs 4.11.19 Final by The Bren­nan Center for Justice on Scribd