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Court Case

Arab Am. Inst. v. Office of Mgmt. and Budget

The Arab American Institute is suing the Office of Management and Budget for its failure to release documents relating to its decision not to include a combined race and ethnicity and a separate Middle Eastern or North African category on the 2020 Census. This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Last Updated: October 14, 2019
Published: August 5, 2019

Summary

The Arab American Institute is suing the Office of Management and Budget for its failure to release documents relating to its decision not to include a combined race and ethnicity and a separate Middle Eastern or North African category on the 2020 Census.

This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Case Background

The Arab American Institute (AAI) is suing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its failure to disclose records regarding its decision to not use a combined race and ethnicity question or include a Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) category on the 2020 Census. On January 26, 2018, the Census Bureau announced it would not include a combined question format for collecting information on Hispanic origin and race or a MENA category on the 2020 census form. OMB, which sets the standards for race and ethnicity data for federal agencies, has not yet released a report explaining its decision not to include the categories on the census in 2020. 

The plaintiffs are asking the court for a declaratory judgment that OMB violated FOIA and an order requiring the agency to immediately process and release the records AAI requested.

OMB has released documents to the plaintiffs, and the parties are currently conferring to determine whether ongoing litigation is necessary.

Key documents