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Baltimore Mayor, MD Attorney General praise Supreme Court ruling on census question


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young is praising yesterday's Supreme Court decision that rejects the justification for adding a citizenship question to next year's census.  Young says it's necessary to count everyone in the census regardless of immigrant status. 

A controversial citizenship question will likely not be added to the 2020 Census.  That's the result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberals in a 5-4 ruling.  It's a big defeat for the Trump administration, which wants to add a simple question to the Census about whether respondents are U.S. citizens.  The U.S. Supreme Court is also punting a key case involving partisan gerrymandering, which is the political process of drawing congressional districts.  In a North Carolina case, justices said they cannot decide an issue that is up to state legislatures.  But opponents say it could dampen participation by Latinos and other minorities and could undercut their representation in Congress.

“I strongly applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the administration’s justifications to add a citizenship question to the next decennial count,” said Young.  “In order to have a fair and accurate Census in 2020, it’s necessary for the Census Bureau to count everyone regardless of immigrant status.”

In a statement, Young said historically, immigrants have been underrepresented in the decennial census count. “Localities that have experienced recent demographic change such as Baltimore City are likely to be most impacted by an undercount, with significant federal dollars on the table.”

Young said while the legal battles to remove the Citizenship question are not over, he remains committed to ensuring that every Baltimorean is counted and can confidently participate in the upcoming Census.

Meanwhile, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh released a statement of his own praising the high court’s ruling.

“This was a naked attempt to undermine democracy and depress the census count in states, like Maryland, that welcome immigrants,” said Frosh. “Commerce Secretary Ross, armed with partisan data and ignoring evidence from his own agency to the contrary, attempted to discourage families with members of recent foreign origin from responding to the census.” 

Justice Stephen Breyer notes in his opinion:

‘The record demonstrates that the question would likely cause a disproportionate number of noncitizens and Hispanics to go uncounted in the upcoming census.  That, in turn, would create a risk that some States would wrongfully lose a congressional representative and funding for a host of federal programs. And, the Secretary was told, the adverse consequences would fall most heavily on minority communities. The Secretary decided to ask the question anyway, citing a need for more accurate citizenship data. But the evidence indicated that asking the question would produce citizenship data that is less accurate, not more.’

“The State of Maryland will continue to support efforts to ensure anaccurate count of Maryland’s residents beginning in 2020,” said Frosh.

However, even with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter, the fight may not be over. President Trump is vowing to fight on.  Trump believes the Supreme Court's decision to not add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 Census is "totally ridiculous."  In a tweet Thursday, the President said he has "asked lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the U.S. Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter."  Trump wondered if "anyone can really believe that as a great Country, we are not able to ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!"