Eric Holder To Sue Trump Administration Over Citizenship Question In Census

Former Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) would be filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration over their decision to add a citizenship question to the census.

Holder, who is the Chairman of the NDRC, said in a statement:

We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision. The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy. This question will lower the response rate and undermine the accuracy of the count, leading to devastating, decade-long impacts on voting rights and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding. By asking this question, states will not have accurate representation and individuals in impacted communities will lose out on state and federal funding for health care, education, and infrastructure.

Contrary to the Administration’s stated rationale, asking the citizenship question on the census is not critical to enforcing the Voting Rights Act. As attorney general, I did not—nor did my predecessors—request the addition of a citizenship question to the decennial census to enforce the VRA. We did not need to: Data derived from the existing census process was perfectly adequate for any voting litigation that arose.

Make no mistake – this decision is motivated purely by politics. In deciding to add this question without even testing its effects, the Administration is departing from decades of census policy and ignoring the warnings of census experts.

An inaccurate count would harm states with high immigrant populations, a.k.a. blue states and cost them House seats. An inaccurate count could also help Republican state legislatures gerrymander congressional districts. The Census question could also help the Trump administration target immigrants for deportation.

The Census question is an attempt to harass, scare, push immigrants back into the shadows. There is no need for this question, and Eric Holder and the NDRC are correct that the question is an attack on voting rights that must be challenged in court.