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Department of Commerce v. New York

United States Supreme Court
139 S. Ct. 2551 (2019)


Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced he had decided to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire. The Census Bureau recommended getting citizenship data through administrative records and a statistical model. Ross claimed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had requested the reinstatement of the question in order to gather better data for purposes of enforcing the Voting Rights Act (VRA). However, it was Ross who solicited the DOJ to make the request. Also, a Department of Commerce (defendant) memo indicated that Ross was determined to reinstate the citizenship question from the time he assumed his role as secretary. The state of New York (plaintiff) and a number of other states filed suit in the district court to challenge the constitutionality of the citizenship question, arguing that Ross abused his discretion and acted arbitrarily and capriciously in reinstating the question. The Department of Commerce appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Alito, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Breyer, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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