University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Kravitz v. United States Department of Commerce PB-MD-0005
Docket / Court 8:18-cv-01041-GJH ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Take Care
Case Summary
This case is one of many ongoing cases around the country challenging the Census Bureau's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. This lawsuit challenging the citizenship question was filed on April 11, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, by seven US ... read more >
This case is one of many ongoing cases around the country challenging the Census Bureau's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. This lawsuit challenging the citizenship question was filed on April 11, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, by seven US citizens who regularly use public services. The case was assigned to District Judge George Jarrod Hazel.

The plaintiffs sued the Commerce Secretary, the Deputy Commerce Secretary, the United States Department of Commerce and its agency, the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau’s Director, and its Deputy Director.

The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sued the defendants under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Declaratory Judgments Act, alleging that the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would violate the APA and the Census Clauses of the Constitution (the "Actual Enumeration" clause of Article I, § 2 and the Fourteenth Amendment's "Apportionment Clause").

Plaintiffs alleged that that the Census Bureau’s decision to include a citizenship question on the Census would violate the Census clauses because the question would cause a disproportionate undercount of immigrants, non-citizens, those with limited English proficiency, and individuals of Hispanic or Latino origin. This disproportionate undercount would deprive plaintiffs of representation in congressional, state, and local governing bodies, and access to social services whose funding is based on the Census.

The plaintiffs also argued that the Bureau’s failure to provide independent support for their position that the citizenship data was required to enforce the Voting Rights Act, and their failure to investigate the impact the citizenship question may have on response rates, was “arbitrary and capricious” and “contrary to law” under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, requesting the Court enjoin defendants from asking a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. They also sought attorneys’ fees.

On May 3, September 5, and December 28 of 2018 plaintiffs filed amended complaints. The last amended complaint differed from the original complaint by adding several more plaintiffs and an allegation that the in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection Guarantee.

The plaintiffs further alleged that the decision to include the citizenship question violated the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee because it was motivated by animus towards Latinos, Asian-Americans, immigrant communities of color, and noncitizens.

Defendants moved to dismiss this case on June 6, 2018. They argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing, the political question doctrine barred their claims regarding violations of the Actual Enumeration and Apportionment Clauses; and that courts cannot review the Secretary’s decision under the APA. On August 22, 2018 Judge Hazel denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding that the plaintiffs had standing, that the Secretary’s actions were reviewable, and that the political question doctrine did not bar the claims. 336 F.Supp.3d 545 (D. Md. 2018). In the same order denying the motion to dismiss, Judge Hazel granted plaintiffs’ motion for discovery, requiring that the defendants provide the same discovery as defendant’s were ordered to provide in another lawsuit over the 2020 Census, State of New York. v. United States Department of Commerce (Docket No. 18-cv-2921).

After Judge Hazel denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, they filed a motion for summary judgment on November 12, 2018. On December 19, 2018, Judge Hazel denied their motion for summary judgment as well.

Ruling on a joint motion, Judge Hazel consolidated this case with a very similar case, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero v. Ross (Docket No. 8:18-cv-1041), on December 19. For more information about that case, please see the case which is also in this Clearinghouse.

After preliminary evidentiary objections were ruled on by Judge Hazel, the bench trial in this matter began on January 22, 2019. The trial and case is still ongoing.

Michael Beech - 02/22/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Funding
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Bureau of the Census
Plaintiff Description 7 US citizens who use public services.
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
Case Listing PB-MD-0006 : La Unión Del Pueblo Entero v. Ross (D. Md.)
PB-CA-0049 : California v. Ross (N.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  Calendar of Upcoming Deadlines and Hearings for Census 2020 Cases
Date: Mar. 29, 2019
(Brennan Center for Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
8:18-cv-01041 (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/21/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-MD-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 48] (336 F.Supp.3d 545) (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion Denying Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 84] (102 Fed.R.Serv.3d 646) (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint [ECF# 86]
PB-MD-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hazel, George Jarrod (D. Md.) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0002 | PB-MD-0005-0003 | PB-MD-0005-9000 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arvelo, Jose E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Cho, Dustin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Duke, Benjamin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0001 | PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Duraiswamy, Shankar (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0001 | PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Frodle, Amee M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Grant, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Hobel, Lawrence (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Lopez, Burth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Nunes, Bianca (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0001 | PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Saenz, Thomas A. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Thomas, Tina M. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0001 | PB-MD-0005-0004 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Tilak, Karun A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0001 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coyle, Garrett Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Ehrlich, Stephen (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Enlow, Courtney (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Federighi, Carol (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Gardner, Joshua Edward (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Tomlinson, Martin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Andriola, Eri (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Bernhardt, Julia Doyle (Maryland) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Cedarbaum, Jonathan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Gomez Hernandez, Julia Alejandra (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Gray, Daniel M. (Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Grimm, John Robert (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Guehenno, Claire M. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Hazel, George Jarrod (Maryland) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-0002 | PB-MD-0005-0003 | PB-MD-0005-9000 | PB-MD-0005-9000
Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Hulett, Denise M. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Minnis, Terry Ao (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Pellegrini, Tanya G. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Senteno, Andrea E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Shah, Niyati (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Singh, Tejinder (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Tansey, Jacob (Maryland) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000
Yang, John C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0005-9000

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