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 suit was filed 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.

Robin Thurston

Deputy Legal Director

Litigating challenges to unlawful actions, abuses of power, and threats to democracy on behalf of those who are harmed.

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