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Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will instruct federal agencies to gather information regarding citizenship through administration records and not through the 2020 Census, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:

“There simply was no legally sound basis that would have allowed President Trump to make an end run around the Supreme Court’s decision blocking the citizenship question on the Census. By prolonging this battle, the administration has sowed chaos and confusion.”

Clarke continued, “It is worth nothing that the plan announced by the President was one available to the administration all along. Career professionals at the Census Bureau had long identified that the Commerce Department could obtain more accurate citizenship data through the means announced by the President, as opposed to asking the citizenship question. That said, we have grave concerns about the administration’s continued dogged pursuit of citizenship information for what appear to be improper, discriminatory and unconstitutional uses.  We will use every tool in our arsenal to police the administration should their executive action violate constitutional or legally-protected rights. We will also now focus on getting out the count in 2020.”

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
Reynolds Graves, Lawyers’ Committee, [email protected], 202-662-8375