The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of blocking the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Saying the question seemed “contrived," the justices voted 5-4 against it, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal judges, BBC reports.
The White House claims the question will help to improve protections for minorities, but opponents counter it will prompt immigrants to avoid the census altogether. President Donald Trump responded that he will now attempt to delay the 2020 census.
Though the administration views this decision as a setback, the Supreme Court left open the possibility that it could still be allowed later, as the issue of including the citizenship question on the census form could be re-litigated in a lower court where advocates can provide further justification for the question.
Educators are hailing the court's decision as a win for democracy. Opponents of the question say that it would deter non-U.S. citizens from participating in the census and that would lead to less allocation of national, state and local funds to help families in need.
“Today’s decision is a critical step for supporting a robust, accurate count in the 2020 census,” Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, said in the statement. “The success of our nation’s public schools to best educate the students they serve and the broader communities they support relies on a truthful reflection of the people in that community.”
He added that the decision will provide census data that includes information on underrepresented populations.
Leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) were also pleased. "Everyone deserves to be counted for the 2020 census, including our immigrant families,” Board President Mónica García said in a statement. “Now, our families can rest assured and participate in the census, which will bring more resources and funds to our schools and communities.”
In his comments, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said that if the question is ultimately included, "it could lead to a loss of as much as $20 million every year in Title I funding."