Washington, D.C. — Today, Democracy Forward filed suit against the the Trump Administration for failing to release documents revealing whether the Departments of Commerce and Justice secretly coordinated with Alabama officials to sabotage the U.S. Census. The case demands communications between federal officials and Alabama authorities seeking to invalidate the ‘Residence Rule,’ which implements the Constitution’s mandate that all persons within the United States, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are counted on the decennial census.
Two months after the Trump Administration announced that the 2020 decennial census will include a question about the citizenship of respondents, the State of Alabama and Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) sued the Census Bureau to block the ‘Residence Rule.’ The Trump Administration has not yet stated whether it will defend the Residence Rule against this attack. Indeed it recently sought a second delay to respond to Alabama’s complaint, in order to “evaluate arguments that the government will make.”
“The Trump Administration has lost credibility on Census issues due to its misleading statements about the 2020 Census administration” said Robin Thurston, Democracy Forward Senior Counsel. “And now, we are suing to find out whether their efforts to sabotage the census run deeper.”
The suit was filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Separately, a coalition of local governments variously represented by Democracy Forward, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Office of the Santa Clara County Counsel, the Law Office of Jonathan Weissglass, and Debevoise & Plimpton moved to intervene to defend the Residence Rule against the challenge brought by the State of Alabama.
Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.
December 7, 2018