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Case Name La Unión Del Pueblo Entero v. Ross PB-MD-0006
Docket / Court 8:18-cv-01570-GJH ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
MALDEF
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. One of these cases, Department of Commerce v. New York, is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

This lawsuit challenging the ... 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. One of these cases, Department of Commerce v. New York, is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

This lawsuit challenging the citizenship question was filed on May 31, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, by La Union del Pueblo Entero and several other immigrant advocacy groups, seven state legislative caucuses, five state government representatives who represent districts with relatively large non-citizen populations, and two other private plaintiffs. The case was assigned to District Judge George Jarrod Hazel.

The plaintiffs sued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in his official capacity, the United States Department of Commerce and its agency, the Bureau of the Census, and the Bureau’s Director, Ron Jarmin. The plaintiffs, represented by Robert P. Newman, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (“MALDEF”), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (“AAAJ”), 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, the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Fifth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Apportionment Clause, and the Actual Enumeration Clause of Article I § 2 of the Constitution.

Plaintiffs in their complaint specifically alleged that that the Census Bureau’s decision to include a citizenship question on the Census would violate the “actual enumeration” clause of the Constitution and the Apportionment Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the question would cause a disproportionate undercount of non-U.S. citizens, the U.S. citizen family members of non-U.S. citizens, Asian Americans, and Latinos. This disproportionate undercount would deprive organizational plaintiffs’ members of representation in congressional, state, and local governing bodies, and access to social services whose funding is based on the Census.

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 racial animus towards Latinos, Asian Americans, and animus towards non-U.S. citizens and foreign-born persons. 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.

Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on July 9, 2018, adding an additional allegation that the defendants’ conspired to violate the constitutional rights of Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and non-U.S. citizen persons, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)).

Defendants moved to dismiss this case on August 24, 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 November 9, 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. 2018 WL 5885528.

After Judge Hazel denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, they filed a motion for summary judgment on November 12. On December 28, 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, Kravitz v. United States Department of Commerce (Docket No. 8:18-cv-1041), on December 19, 2018. For more information about further litigation in the consolidated case, please see our summary on Kravitz.

The case is ongoing.

Michael Beech - 02/17/2019


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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
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Non-profit religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Asian/Pacific Islander
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1985
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) United States Census Bureau
Plaintiff Description Immigrant advocacy groups
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-MD-0005 : Kravitz v. United States Department of Commerce (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-01570 (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-MD-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 42]
PB-MD-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 80] (2018 WL 5885528) (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0006-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 96] (D. Md.)
PB-MD-0006-0004.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-0006-0003 | PB-MD-0006-0004 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Andriola, Eri (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Gomez Hernandez, Julia Alejandra (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Grant, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Hulett, Denise M. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Lopez, Burth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Minnis, Terry Ao (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Newman, Robert P. (Maryland) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Pellegrini, Tanya G. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Saenz, Thomas A. (California) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002
Senteno, Andrea E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Shah, Niyati (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Yang, John C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-0001 | PB-MD-0006-0002 | PB-MD-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coyle, Garrett Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Ehrlich, Stephen (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Federighi, Carol (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000
Tomlinson, Martin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-MD-0006-9000

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