University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name NAACP v. Bureau of the Census PB-MD-0004
Docket / Court 8:18-cv-00891-PWG ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
On March 28, 2018 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Prince George's County filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. Plaintiffs sued the U.S. Census Bureau, Secretary of Commerce, and President and the United States for "conspicuous neglect" ... read more >
On March 28, 2018 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Prince George's County filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. Plaintiffs sued the U.S. Census Bureau, Secretary of Commerce, and President and the United States for "conspicuous neglect" of their duty to ensure an "actual enumeration" through the Census as per Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

Plaintiffs claim that this neglect has led to undercounting in the past, and will lead to higher undercounting, particularly of disadvantaged and minority populations in the 2020 Census. Prince George's County alleged it has been the victim of large undercounting of their population by 1.9% in 2000 and 2.3% in 2010. These undercounts impacted the distribution of public funds, determined representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and impacted redistricting. Plaintiffs claimed that the 2010 Census undercounted African Americans by roughly 1.5 million while overcounting home owners and non-hispanic whites.

Due to Prince George's County's demographics and history of being undercounted in the Census, these detrimental effects are likely to be exacerbated for the county due to the lack of staff, leadership, design flaws, and underfunding of the Census. For example, whereas the budget for the Census has typically grown with each successive Census, the budget for the 2020 Census has gone down from $4.2 billion in 2010 to $3.9 billion. Moreover, plaintiffs claim that the plan to administer more of the Census digitally will lead to undercounting for areas will little broadband access as well as open the Census to cyber attacks.

Plaintiffs requested the court to declare that defendants have an obligation to administer a fair and accurate census and enjoin them from violating that duty. Moreover, plaintiffs request that the court issue an injunction requiring the government to propose and implement a policy that ensures a hard count subject to court monitoring. The case is before Judge Paul W. Grimm and is ongoing as of April 5, 2018.

Will McCartney - 04/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Disparate Impact
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) President of the United States
U.S. Census Bureau
Plaintiff Description NAACP, Prince George County, and several of its residents.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
8:18-cv-891 (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-MD-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Grimm, Paul William (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alderdice, Jacob (New York)
PB-MD-0004-0001 | PB-MD-0004-9000
Craine, Khyla Danielle (Maryland)
PB-MD-0004-9000
Diaz, Jonathan (New York)
PB-MD-0004-0001 | PB-MD-0004-9000
Kohlmann, Susan J. (New York)
PB-MD-0004-0001 | PB-MD-0004-9000
Wishnie, Michael J. (New York)
PB-MD-0004-0001 | PB-MD-0004-9000

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