As 4th Circuit Contemplates Additional Hearing on Race Discrimination in Adding Citizenship Question to Census, DOJ Files SCOTUS Brief Trying to Preempt Such Consideration

Hansi Lo Wang:

Tierney Sneed:

The Justice Department, not surprisingly, told the Supreme Court Thursday it should not delay its decision in the census citizenship case so that a trial court could consider new evidence about the citizenship question’s origins.

The Trump administration also sought to head off any additional litigation, after the Supreme Court hands down its decision, on the issue currently percolating in Maryland over whether the move to add the question was racially discriminatory….

In an apparent effort to head off any additional litigation of the discriminatory intent claim — which is currently being considered by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals —  the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to resolve it in the decision it hands down in the next week or two.

“[T]o avoid addressing the issue in an emergency posture,” the Justice Department said, “the Court may wish to address the equal-protection claim in its opinion to make clear that neither respondents’ original evidence nor the Hofeller files demonstrate any racial animus on the part of Secretary Ross.”

“Indeed, a finding that the Secretary’s decision cannot be set aside as pretextual …
necessarily forecloses a claim that it may be set aside as pretextual for a discriminatory reason,” the Justice Department said.

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