‘The Department’s decision to include a census question in the 2020 Census will improve … ability to comply’ with voting rights laws…
Bevin, a Republican who is up for re-election this year, made the announcement through a press release.
The Trump administration wants to add a question about U.S. citizenship to the census, restoring a practice that was abandoned in 1960.
But liberals have lashed out at the potential question, arguing that it might create anxiety for immigrants and lead to an undercount of the population, especially in states with large populations of immigrants.
Any undercount could lead to a loss of congressional seats for Democrats—and diminishing influence in the Electoral College.
Predictably, a liberal judge ruled that adding the question was unconstitutional.
In the amicus brief to the Supreme Court, Bevin and others argue that Judge Jesse Furman’s opinion is an overreach.
“[S]tates rely upon demographic information provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce when redistricting,” the brief reads. “The Department’s decision to include a census question in the 2020 Census will improve … ability to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 … by affording states superior data on citizen voting-age population.”
The brief also notes that sixteen states urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to include a citizenship question and that letting the judge’s decision stand would effectively nullify Ross’s management of the census process.
Bevin is one of two governors who have added their names to the brief; Phil Bryant of Mississippi is the other.
Fifteen other states have joined the brief through their attorneys general: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.