This week the Houston Institute joined a coalition against the inclusion of a citizenship question on the census led by Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) and including seventeen other groups: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Centro Presente, The Boston Foundation, Brazilian Worker Center, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA), Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Worcester Interfaith, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Massachusetts Voter Table, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts Action Fund, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), and Sociedad Latina. The brief was filed by Lawyers for Civil Rights and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. (Mintz) in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of national organizations and Boston-based groups in New York v. U.S. Department of Commerce, the case that will determine whether a citizenship question may be included in the 2020 Census.
The brief supports the district judge’s conclusion that the decision of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The brief highlights how people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized populations are particularly harmed when agencies flout the law in this manner, disrupting expectations and the procedures owed to disempowered people who frequently come into contact with the administrative state. The judiciary must intervene when agencies exceed their authority or act without regard for their impact on vulnerable communities.
Read the brief: