The United States Supreme Court agreed on Friday to fast track a review of a case concerning the Trump administration’s plans to add a question to the 2020 census asking households to disclose whether their occupants are U.S. citizens.

The Department of Commerce—which oversees the Census Bureau—announced the decision to include the new question last spring, arguing that, in order to enforce the section of the Voting Rights Act that bans racial discrimination in voting, it needed a citizenship question to get a more accurate count of the voting-age population. Not since 1950 had the decennial survey asked respondents about their citizenship status, and the decision sparked immediate backlash.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, arguing that a citizenship question would discourage participation of households with undocumented occupants, ultimately undercounting immigrant communities and violating a “constitutional requirement” that the government takes a fair and accurate count of the population….

Pacific Standard Magazine