Fair Lines America Foundation v. U.S. Dep’t of Commerce
Fair Lines America Foundation filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Census Bureau under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Census Bureau to release records concerning institutional living facilities and other housing facilities counted in the group quarters operation for the 2020 Census. On August 8, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that the Census Bureau was exempted from releasing documents responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request under its statutory duty to keep census responses confidential.
Fair Lines America Foundation sued the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Census Bureau under the FOIA to compel production of internal records concerning the counting of group quarters for the 2020 Census. The plaintiff sought records related to how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the counting of institutional living facilities or other housing facilities in the 2020 Census and the potential impact the group quarters count may have had on the overall state population tabulations.
Fair Lines asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief to compel the Census Bureau to disclose the group quarters population data and other requested records. The Census Bureau responded that producing this data would result in further delays in the release of redistricting data from the 2020 Census. Fair Lines withdrew its motion for a preliminary injunction on July 28, 2021.
On August 8, 2022, the court granted the government’s motion for summary judgment. The court’s opinion held that the the Census Bureau is not required to release state-level group quarter imputation data from the 2020 Census.
- Complaint (May 18, 2021)
- Answer to Complaint (June 21, 2021)
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (July 19, 2021)
- Status Report (July 20, 2021)
- Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (July 26, 2021)
- Notice of Withdrawal of Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (July 28, 2021)
- Minute Order (August 6, 2021)
- Motion for Summary Judgement (September 10, 2021)
- Combined Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement and Cross Motion for Summary Judgement (October 1, 2021)
- Defendant’s Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement and Opposition to Plaintiff’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgement (November 2, 2021)
- Plaintiff’s Reply in Support of Cross-Motion Summary Judgement (November 23, 2021)
- Opinion (August 2, 2022)