On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York, the challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The justices will be looking at cases from the Commerce Department, which runs the census, as well as arguments from opponents that include a number of states and various immigrant rights groups.
The data collected every 10 years by the census determine how many members a state gets in the House of Representatives, and it’s also used to allocate federal funds. Proponents of adding the citizenship question say that it’s needed to gather accurate data about the population of the U.S.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has argued that it would bolster the Voting Rights Act.
But critics say this is just pretext and are concerned that the question will deter undocumented immigrants from answering the survey altogether, leading to skewed data and resource distribution.
The case is expected to be decided by the end of June.
As the Supreme Court weighs whether the citizenship question is constitutional, we lay out the pros and cons.
Kaylan Phillips, an Indianapolis based litigation counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity.
Oren Sellstrom, Litigation Director at Lawyers for Civil Rights, a non-profit legal organization based in Boston that focuses on racial and immigration discrimination