WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way today released the following statement from PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker in response to the Supreme Court’s decision ordering further review before a citizenship question is placed on the 2020 Census:
“Trump’s effort to weaponize the 2020 Census suffered a setback today at the Supreme Court. The majority recognized that the administration contrived an explanation for adding a citizenship question to the Census questionnaire. Trump wants to ask about citizenship and scare people away from participating so that his administration can undercount people of color, slash funding for communities with critical resource needs, and suppress the voices of people of color at the ballot box. That ongoing effort makes it extremely important that everyone participates in the 2020 Census.
“A citizenship question should never have been proposed in the first place. Trump’s administration certainly should not have added it at the last-minute, circumventing the usual care with which questions make it onto the form. Further, newly discovered evidence, including the involvement of the Republican redistricting mastermind, Thomas Hofeller, in this process, makes it extremely clear that this is part of a broader GOP effort to suppress votes and defund programs that our communities rely on. This has already led to additional legal claims challenging the question that are still pending.
“Just by proposing this question, Trump and his administration have already spread fear about the Census, and we will have to work that much harder to ensure an accurate count. We will watch the next legal steps closely to see if that job will be done properly in the 2020 census.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully articipate in our democracy.