Washington, D.C.— Following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to temporarily block the Commerce Department from including the citizenship question on the census, Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, released the below comment.
“The purpose of the Census is to provide an accurate, fair count of the total population, including the number of citizens and noncitizens. Thomas Jefferson understood a complete Census was critical to preserving America’s representative democracy when he first recommended the inclusion of the citizenship question nearly 200 years ago. The Court agrees that including this basic and essential question is constitutional and would lead to a more complete measure of our population, but unfortunately, with yesterday’s ruling, the U.S. Commerce Department is now running against the clock to make its case in the lower court. Despite this setback, we must not lose sight that the Census serves as an important guide as our country considers questions that impact all Americans, including immigration policy and the distribution of government dollars.”