SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Feb. 11, 2019 – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York, in which a U.S. district court in New York last month enjoined the Trump Administration from including a proposed citizenship question in the 2020 Census, finding it unlawful. The Trump Administration is now seeking immediate review of the decision by the Supreme Court before the Court of Appeals considers the case; the House’s brief supports the response by New York and the coalition of 17 states, urging that the district court’s ruling requiring the proper conduct of the Census be promptly affirmed by whichever appellate forum hears the case:
The Census is a pillar of our democracy, ensuring that all are equally counted and represented.
As the district court found, the Trump Administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the Census would obstruct Congress’s constitutional responsibility to carry out an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the ‘whole number of persons in each State’ and maintain oversight of this cornerstone of our democracy, according to the Commerce Department’s own administrative record and calculations. It found further that the Trump Administration’s proposed citizenship question violated procedural and substantive safeguards established by law.
The House’s amicus brief articulates the compelling interests behind the accurate and complete enumeration of the Census: the House’s own institutional integrity. The Trump Administration’s efforts to compromise the Census would jeopardize the accuracy of the apportionment of the House, as well as the allocation of federal funds to states and localities, undermining the integrity of the Congress and its ability to represent and serve the American people.
The proper conduct of the Census requires that the district court’s ruling be affirmed promptly to ensure the integrity and timely execution of this vital institution of our democracy.