Federal Court Rules Deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Can Move Forward in Census Challenge

September 21, 2018 6:30 pm

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NEW YORK — A federal court has ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to answer questions under oath in a deposition regarding his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to stop this effort by the Trump administration to intimidate immigrant communities, drive down their census participation, and deprive them of critical resources and political representation. Ross previously gave false testimony to Congress that the decision to include a citizenship question was “initiated” by the Department of Justice to facilitate enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, had this reaction to today’s ruling:

“Secretary Ross testified to Congress that he decided to add a citizenship question to the census because the Department of Justice requested it. We now know that was false. DOJ has no need for a door-to-door inquiry of the citizenship status of every member of every household in America. As the court held today, Secretary Ross’ ‘intent and credibility are directly at issue’ in this case. We look forward to getting answers under oath about the Trump administration’s real agenda: attacking immigrant communities.”

The ruling is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/state-ny-v-us-dept-commerce-order

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