The Brennan Center filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Justice, and the Office of Management and Budget under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel expedited production of records concerning the Trump Administration’s former plans for calculating the state apportionments in the U.S. House of Representatives after completion of the 2020 Census.
The law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP represented the Brennan Center in this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In early July 2020, the Brennan Center filed FOIA requests with the defendants seeking records related to former President Trump’s July 11, 2019 executive order ordering the Census Bureau to collect administrative records on citizenship from other federal agencies. The requests seek all records related to how the Administration may have attempted to use citizenship data to alter the 2020 state-population totals used to calculate the state apportionments or may have otherwise tried to change the state-population totals.
Defendants initially denied our requests for expedited processing of the FOIA requests and did not produce the requested documents. On October 30, 2020, however, the court granted our motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the federal government to produce most of the requested documents on a rolling basis by January 11, 2021.
The Commerce Department and the U.S. Census Bureau produced some documents on a rolling basis by January 11, 2021 but simultaneously withheld hundreds of documents in full. Over the course of 2021 negotiations with the Brennan Center, the Department and the Bureau reconsidered some of their initial withholdings and produced additional documents. The final production was made on September 15, 2021.
- Complaint (September 21, 2020)
- Motion for Preliminary Injunction (October 2, 2020)
- Defendants’ Opposition to Preliminary Injunction (October 13, 2020)
- Plaintiffs’ Reply in Support of Preliminary Injunction (October 19, 2020)
- Opinion (October 30, 2020)
- Joint Status Report (November 9, 2020)
- Joint Status Report (December 10, 2020)
- Joint Status Report (February 24, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (March 26, 2021
- Joint Status Report (April 16, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (May 17, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (June 16, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (August 16, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (October 15, 2021)
- Joint Status Report (December 14, 2021)