NEW YORK, July 11, 2019 — President Trump said he is giving up his bid to add a citizenship question to the census. He had initially threatened to defy a Supreme Court ruling that blocked it. His announcement today was made just hours after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened additional legal action.
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, who argued the Supreme Court case, said:
Trump’s attempt to weaponize the census ends not with a bang but a whimper.
He lost in the Supreme Court, which saw through his lie about needing the question for the Voting Rights Act. It is clear he simply wanted to sow fear in immigrant communities and turbocharge Republican gerrymandering efforts by diluting the political influence of Latino communities.
He then tried a mulligan, but his keystone cops couldn’t settle on a new rationale for the question; they couldn’t even figure out how to swap out legal teams. Now he’s backing down and taking the option that he rejected more than a year ago. Trump may claim victory today, but this is nothing short of a total, humiliating defeat for him and his administration.
When the details of Trump’s new plan to compile citizenship data outside of the census come out —and his plans for using that data — we will scrutinize them closely and assess their legality.
The ACLU, New York Civil Liberties Union, and Arnold & Porter had successfully challenged the administration in court on behalf of immigrants’ rights groups.