April 1, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York, in which the U.S. district court for the Southern District of New York enjoined the Trump Administration from including a proposed citizenship question in the 2020 Census, finding it unlawful. A federal district court in California also enjoined the proposed citizenship question. The House’s brief supports the response by New York and the coalition of 17 states, urging that the district court’s ruling requiring the proper conduct of the Census be promptly affirmed by the Supreme Court when it hears arguments on April 23, 2019:
“Our Founders enshrined the Census as a pillar of our democracy, ensuring that all are equally counted and represented.
“The Department of Commerce’s proposed citizenship questions is both unlawful and unconstitutional, violating the Census Act as well as the clear constitutional mandate of an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the people in our country in a way that is accurate and nonpartisan. This question, by the Commerce Department’s own calculations, would reduce the accuracy of the 2020 decennial Census, while providing no legitimate government objective. Instead, it would inject fear and distrust into our most vulnerable communities, potentially making traditionally undercounted communities even further under-represented, financially excluded and left behind.
“Democrats will continue to reject any attempt by the Administration to trample over the Constitution and compromise the integrity of this vital institution of our democracy. The district court’s ruling must be upheld to ensure a fair and accurate Census, as our Constitution demands.”