150+ Groups Urge Federal Court to Strike Census Citizenship Question

Categories: Census, Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Muslim Advocates, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and 149 other grassroots, advocacy, labor, legal services, and other organizations today submitted a “friend of the court” brief in the litigation brought by the State of New York against the U.S. Department of Commerce challenging the inclusion of an unnecessary and intrusive citizenship question in the 2020 Census.

The groups write in part:

“A fair and accurate 2020 census is a critical civil rights issue. Not only is the constitutionally mandated census central to apportioning political power at every level of government, but the data collected also influence the annual allocation of more than $800 billion in federal money, along with countless policy and investment decisions by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private enterprise. Given its foundational importance to American government and society, the census must be above partisan politics. The misguided decision to reverse seventy years of consistent census practice and insert an untested citizenship question undermines the integrity of the count, damages our communities, and violates the Census Bureau’s constitutional and statutory duties to conduct a full enumeration of the U.S. population.”

The brief notes that the Census Bureau itself has long opposed adding a citizenship question precisely because it would lead to an undercount, which would “impact hard-to-count populations disproportionately.” The brief also notes that collecting citizenship data would undermine enforcement of the Voting Rights Act because it would “undercount the minority populations who rely on that data to bring VRA claims.”

The State of New York was joined by 17 states, Washington D.C., and nine cities, four counties, and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors in challenging the late addition of a citizenship question, which Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross agreed to add on March 26 in response to a December 2017 request of the Justice Department.

The amicus brief is available here, and a full list of the participating organizations follows below:

4CS of Passaic County
AgeOptions
American Anthropological Association
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
American Muslim Health Professionals
American Society on Aging
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute
Arizona Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Party Caucus
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans for Community Involvement
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE)
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism-California State University, San Bernardino
Children’s Defense Fund
Chinese-American Planning Council
Citizen Action of New York
Citizens Union
Civil Rights Project
Clearinghouse on Women’sIssues
Clergy And Laity United For Economic Justice (CLUE)
Coalition on Human Needs
Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
Common Cause
Community Catalyst
Community Resource Exchange (CRE)
Community Service Society of New York
Crescent City Media Group
D & R Accounting & Tax Solutions , Inc.
Defending Rights & Dissent
Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
Democracy Forward
Demos
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Empower Missouri
Equal Justice Society
Equality California
Faith in Public Life
Family Equality Council
FISH Hospitality
Forefront
Good Neighbor Society
Government Information Watch
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Hindu American Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Action (HOLA)
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Illinois Partners for Human Service
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigration Committee at First Unitarian Denver
Impact Fund
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
In the Public Interest
Indivisible Baltimore
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Justice in Aging
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
League of Women Voters of New York State
Legal Aid Justice Center
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Let America Vote
Main Street Alliance
MinKwon Center for Community Action
Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership
Minnesota Council on Foundations
Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
National Action Network
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Consumer Law Center
National Consumers League
National Council of Jewish Women
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Health Law Program
National Human Services Assembly
National Immigration Law Center
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women Foundation
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
NC Counts Coalition
New America Public Interest Technology
New Florida Majority
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
New Mexico Voices for Children
New York Counts 2020
New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus
North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT)
Northern California Western Nevada Pacific District Japanese American Citizens League
Partnership for America’s Children
Paterson Alliance
Paterson Education Fund
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
PolicyLink
Research Advisory Services, Inc.
Rock the Vote
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Service Employees International Union
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Windsor, NY
SOME, Inc. (So Others Might Eat)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Network
Southeast Michigan Census Council
Southern Poverty Law Center
Texas Civil Rights Project
The Economic Progress Institute (RI)
The Enrichment Center for Women Children and Families
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc.
The National Coalition for Literacy
The National Urban League
The Sikh Coalition
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice
The Voting Rights Institute
The Women’s Law Center of Maryland
UnidosUS
Union for Reform Judaism
United Chinese Association of Brooklyn
UUFHC
Virginia Civic Engagement Table
Washington-Virginia District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Wind of the Spirit, Immigrant Resource Center
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice
Women Employed
Women of Reform Judaism
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
YWCA USA

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit http://leadershipconferenceedfund.org/.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

NALEO Educational Fund is the leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.”  The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success