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Census Citizenship Question and the Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court remains split on the issue of whether or not to allow the controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The Court is expected to deliver its decision in late June.

If the citizenship questions is allow on the 2020 census, there will be an estimated 6/5 million people not counted due to the question, which will drastically reduce democratic representation when the congressional districts are allocated in 2021. Additionally, there are several states that risk losing seats in the House and numerous other states that risk losing federal funds.

The Supreme Court currently seems divided among its conservative and liberal justices. Justice Sotomayor, among the liberal justices, has said that adding the citizenship question would cause fundamental damage to the purpose of the census, which is to count the people in the nation, not count legal status. On the other side, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch has noted that many other countries include citizenship questions on their census reports and that the information it would yield would be incredibly valuable.

Whether or not the citizenship question is added to the 2020 census, there are still numerous other questions about sex, age, race, origin that may still discourage participation.

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