LAUSD Superintendent Praises Supreme Court Ruling on 2020 Census
California education advocates celebrated Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration over the inclusion of a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census.
In a 5-4 decision, with John Roberts joining the liberal justices, the Court rejected the Trump administration’s rationale for the proposed question, calling it seemingly “contrived.” The decision temporarily halts its inclusion and sends the case back to federal district court in New York where the administration could still be successful using a different argument. Timing is a major hurdle, however, as the questionnaires are set to be printed soon.
In response, President Trump has threatened to delay the U.S. Census altogether — a move that would be unprecedented and legally dubious.
U.S. Labor Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the inclusion of a citizenship question last year. The administration has argued it’s necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). But critics say the question would make immigrants less likely to participate in the survey, thereby jeopardizing federal funds and political representation in Washington for immigrant-rich communities.
Schools in California were especially fearful about the move’s potential impacts. Los Angeles Unified, for instance, stood to lose as much as $20 million in Title I funding.
“The citizenship question is not some abstract, legal issue. It has real consequences in our schools,” said LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner in a press release.
He called the Court’s decision “the right thing for public education.”