“House Committee Sues Barr and Ross Over 2020 Census Documents”


The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Tuesday sued William P. Barr, the attorney general, and Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the commerce secretary, for refusing to produce subpoenaed documents regarding President Trump’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, is an escalation of a monthslong dispute over the panel’s efforts to investigate the Trump administration’s effort to alter the decennial survey to ask 2020 respondents whether they are citizens. The government abandoned that effort after the Supreme Court in June blocked the question from being added, rejecting the administration’s stated reason for the effort as “contrived.”…

House Democrats have continued to investigate the census matter, arguing that they need to determine whether Congress should enact legislation to prevent the administration from employing similar tactics in the future. Democrats believe that the documents will show that the administration’s stated rationale for collecting the data — to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was a cover story invented to mask a politically motivated attempt to diminish Democratic power by discouraging noncitizens from completing the survey. States rely on raw population data, rather than eligible voters, to draw House districts and to determine access to federal social welfare programs.

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