WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says it will not ask about citizenship status on the 2020 census, informing plaintiffs in the census case on Tuesday that it plans to move ahead with printing the 2020 census without the controversial question.
“We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,” Kate Bailey, a trial attorney with the Justice Department, wrote in an email to other attorneys involved in the case on Tuesday.
The notice, which was confirmed by the Justice Department, follows the Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked the question from appearing for now, but left the door open for the administration to present a new rationale.
The court described Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ explanation for including the question as “contrived” and “incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency’s priorities and decision-making process.”
The process of preparing a new justification was expected to take months, including a lengthy court review that could return to the Supreme Court, delaying the process of printing hundreds of millions of forms and other materials and preparing for the count.
The government missed its Monday deadline to send the forms for printing.
“This is a victory on the eve of the Fourth of July we are celebrating equal justice for all. Everyone should be counted,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said.