Judge bars citizenship question from 2020 Census

This March 23, 2018, file photo shows an envelope containing a census letter mailed to a U.S. resident as part of the nation's only test run of the 2020 Census. (Michelle R. Smith | The Associated Press)

NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York has barred the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said Tuesday that while such a question would be constitutional, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and not followed proper procedure.

The ruling came in a case in which a dozen states or big cities and immigrants’ rights groups argued that adding the question might frighten immigrant households away from participating in the census.

The decision won’t be the final word on the matter.

A separate suit on the same issue, filed by the state of California, is underway in San Francisco.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also poised to address the issue in February.

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