University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name California v. Ross PB-CA-0049
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-01865 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On March 26, 2018, the State of California filed this claim against the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. It challenged the defendants' plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census. California alleged that this ... read more >
On March 26, 2018, the State of California filed this claim against the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. It challenged the defendants' plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census. California alleged that this question will undermine the defendants' duty to collect an "actual enumeration" of the U.S. population mandated by the Enumeration Clause, Article I of the Constitution. In addition, California claims that the decision to include a citizenship question on the Census violates the Administrative Procedure Act 5 U.S.C. §706 by being arbitrary and capricious, and otherwise not in accordance with the law.

California requested a declaratory judgment in addition to a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census, as well as all expenses and attorney fees the court deems appropriate.

California alleged that the citizenship question directly undermines the defendants' duty to capture an actual enumeration of the United States by discouraging non-citizens and citizens who are relatives of non-citizens from participating in the 2020 Census. Moreover, the decision to add such a question was arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law. For example, one of the justifications for the question was to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act, Section 2, but California argued that this would only serve to undercount the population used to dilute voter fraud. And finally, it alleged the agency failed to make the changes in accord with their own guidelines and deadlines including under the Information Quality Act. California alleged that it could lose representation in Congress and in the Electoral College as a result of this policy since California has the most foreign born and non-citizen residents of any other state. Moreover, California stands to lose billions of dollars of federal funding from an undercount of the U.S. Census.

The claim initially assigned to Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim, but California declined magistrate judge jurisdiction, and so the case was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg.

As of April 5, 2018 the case is still ongoing.

Will McCartney - 04/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Payment for care
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Commerce
U.S. Census Bureau
Plaintiff Description State of California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:18-cv-1865 (N.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0049-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-CA-0049-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Seeborg, Richard G. (N.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0049-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boutin, Gabrielle Downey (California)
PB-CA-0049-0001 | PB-CA-0049-9000
Wise, R Matthew (California)
PB-CA-0049-0001 | PB-CA-0049-9000

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