Note: The Brennan Center is not a participant in this case.
The NAACP, along with its two state branches, filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to compel the Commerce Department to release documents about the preparations for the 2020 Census.
This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and dismissed in February 2019.
The NAACP, NAACP Connecticut State Conference, and NAACP Boston Branch sued the Commerce Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain records about the Census Bureau’s plans for carrying out the 2020 Census.
In June 2017, the plaintiffs requested documents about the Bureau’s plans to address challenges to census preparations that could jeopardize an accurate count. The suit contended that inadequate preparations for the 2020 Census, including budgetary and staffing shortfalls and cancellations and delays of tests of test new technology systems, were likely to lead to a severe undercount of minorities. As a result, undercounted communities, the plaintiffs alleged, may not receive their fair share of federal funding.
According to the plaintiffs, the Bureau failed to fully respond to their request within the statutory deadline, violating FOIA. The plaintiffs contended the Commerce Department was unlawfully withholding information about the Bureau’s plans to execute the census.
The plaintiffs asked the court to order the Department to process and disclose immediately the records that they requested.
On February 4, 2019, the court dismissed the case on stipulation of the parties.
- Complaint (October 5, 2017)
- Defendant’s Answer to Complaint and Affirmative Defenses (December 14, 2017)
- Scheduling Order (March 21, 2018)
- Joint Status Report (June 14, 2018)
- Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement (July 26, 2018)
- Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement (September 17, 2018)
- Stipulation and Order of Settlement (February 4, 2019)