California can’t prove 2020 census would harm state, should drop challenge, DOJ says

The Justice Department on Monday suggested California’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census be dismissed because the state can’t prove it would be harmed by the decision, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

California’s argument that it would lose congressional representation and billions in federal aid, is "highly speculative," the DOJ told a federal judge, the report said.


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 lawsuit prompted lawsuits by cities and states with large immigration populations. No citizenship question has been asked on a census since 1950, according to the Chronicle.

Opponents of the citizenship question have accused lawmakers of being politically motivated.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who announced the suit earlier this year, called the citizenship question a “bad idea” and “illegal.”

Ross has maintained that the DOJ’s motivation to add a citizenship question was merely to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg is now deciding whether to drop the lawsuit or allow it to proceed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.