Supreme Court to Issue Expedited Ruling on 2020 Census Citizenship Question

The Supreme Court will soon review and rule on the Trump administration’s plan to include a question pertaining to citizenship on the 2020 census.

The high court recently announced plans to conduct an expedited analysis, argument, and review of the case before producing a timely ruling—likely in an effort to prevent issues with the census itself, which is typically conducted each decade. The upcoming census is expected to be offered both through the mail and the internet in 2020.

On 15 January, U.S. District Judge Jesse Ferman, who operates out of Manhattan, issued a ruling that prohibited the inclusion of the question on the 2020 census. The judge stated that the question would disproportionately affect minorities as well as the Democratic Party, as the latter relies heavily on the former’s support at the polls.

It is also argued by opponents that the question will hinder the Democrats’ House of Representatives distribution and federal funding allocation, both of which are determined based upon the results of the census. Besides impacting the census, the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling will impact the 18 U.S. states, multiple cities, and several private organizations that contested the potential question in court.

Although the Supreme Court doesn’t usually review decisions made by lower courts before at least one appeals court considers and rules upon the matter, the justices made clear that exceptions can and will be made in instances of public pertinence—such as, apparently, the make-up of the 2020 census.

The Supreme Court’s oral arguments are set to take place in April, and a decision on the question is expected to be issued sometime in mid-June. Present nonpartisan opinions of the matter—of which way the Court will rule—appear to be divided. Some individuals believe that the federal government does in fact possess the authority to question the citizenship status of census participants, while others yet believe that the move is an overstep of executive authority.

The matter will once again be settled soon, and it’s expected that the legal implications of the decision will factor into future efforts on the part of the government to make inquiries relating to personal matters—including in terms of preexisting census questions.

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