National Black Justice Coalition on SCOTUS Citizenship Question Decision
WASHINGTON–Today, the Supreme Court announced their ruling on the controversial citizenship question that was slated to appear on the 2020 census, blocking the question temporarily. In response, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statement:
“The 2020 Census is critically important to ensuring democracy in America. Not only does a complete and accurate Census provide better data on the diversity that exists throughout the country it also enables the equitable apportionment of resources to meet critical needs.
“The Trump administration has attempted to justify asking about one’s citizenship by claiming that the information would facilitate the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act; however, we know that restricting the ability of citizens to vote is the goal. What we know now is that citizenship questions will likely influence many people from marginalized and oppressed communities to either skip the citizenship question or not complete the Census. Citizenship questions are systematic ways to avoid counting immigrants, often referred to as “undocumented,” skew population counts, and disproportionately ration resources and representatives. It is for these reasons that the National Black Justice Coalition supports the decision of the Supreme Court in affirming the importance of facilitating participation rather than restricting it.
“Today, the Supreme Court announced their decision to block questions regarding citizenship on the 2020 census, for now. To ensure this decision is permanent we must remain vigilant. At present, it is unclear how today’s Supreme Court decision will impact printing and dissemination timelines. While there is much we do not know, we must appreciate the Supreme Court’s affirmation that equity in a fair count matters.
“As a country, we must make it a goal to stay well informed about political decisions that affect our lives in intimate ways. Advocating for a fair and full Census is one of the ways that we can each contribute to the foundation of our country—our democracy. A fair and complete count can mean that more Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people receive equitable resources to live full, happy, safe lives. A fair and complete count may also mean that we have better data to use when describing the larger Black community and the diversity that has always existed within it. Let us all work better together to ensure that the Census in 2020 and in subsequent years counts all of the people who make our great country what it is.”