District judge signals willingness to reconsider citizenship question challenge

Judge George Jarrod Hazel of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an order on June 19, 2019, stating that new evidence from a deceased Republican consultant’s hard drive “raises a substantial issue” that could warrant reconsideration of a case challenging the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census.
 
Plaintiffs claim that the evidence demonstrates the Trump administration’s intent to add the citizenship question to the census in order to gain a Republican electoral advantage.
 
Hazel previously ruled against the citizenship question on procedural grounds in a consolidated case on April 5, 2019. The case is currently pending on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. In order for Hazel to reconsider the case, the appellate court would need to return the case to the district court.
 
The United States Supreme Court is currently weighing a challenge to the citizenship question on procedural and constitutional grounds, _Department of Commerce v. New York_. A ruling is expected by the end of June.
 
If the new evidence motivates the district or appellate court to issue an injunction against the citizenship question on discrimination grounds, challengers could potentially return the case before the United States Supreme Court.
 



About the author

Caitlin Styrsky

Caitlin Styrsky is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at caitlin.styrsky@ballotpedia.org

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