In Washington Post Op-ed, Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls on Congress to Save 2020 Census

WASHINGTON – In a Washington Post op-ed, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, called on Congress to overturn the Trump administration’s decision to weaponize the 2020 Census with a citizenship question.

“The Census is a sacred trust. The goal of an accurate count has been, and should remain, a nonpartisan one. Let’s fix this now. Our democracy depends on it,” wrote Gupta.

She also rejected the red herring justification offered by the administration that the question is necessary for enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. “That argument is a bitter lie, laced with cruel irony. Consider that this is the same Sessions who has called the Voting Rights Act ‘intrusive’ and has shown no compunction with flouting and disregarding voting rights enshrined in law,” said Gupta.

“During the final years of the Obama administration, I was the Justice Department official responsible for overseeing voting rights enforcement. I know firsthand that data from the ongoing American Community Survey was sufficient for us to do our work. Rigorous enforcement of the Voting Rights Act has never required the addition of a citizenship question on the census form sent to all households.”

The full text of the op-ed is available here.

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