‘Are You a U.S. Citizen?” Census Question Expected to be Added by Executive Order

The administration still wants to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, even after the Supreme Court rejected it.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not provide a satisfactory reason for why the question should be included on the census. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the administration’s stated reasoning for adding the controversial question “seems to have been contrived.”

trump expected to order citizenship question on census
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Administration Reverses Course After Trump Issues Tweet

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, The Justice and Commerce Departments announced last week that the 2020 census printing would start without any renewed effort to add the question. It was only after Trump tweeted that his administration would still be moving forward with trying to put the citizenship question on the census, that they reversed course.

Trump’s tweet surprised even Justice Department special counsel Joshua Gardner, who said that it was the first time he was aware of the president’s position on the issue. The tweet also sent Department of Justice lawyers scrambling to find a new strategy to argue in ongoing district court cases.

Trump Expected to Announce Executive Action

Now, President Trump has announced that he will hold a news conference to discuss the census and the citizenship question. A senior administration official confirmed that Trump is expected to announce that he is taking executive action to add the citizenship question to the census.

This comes even after the administration has already begun printing 2020 census forms without the controversial question, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.