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Case Name Campaign Legal Center v. DOJ PB-DC-0012
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-01771 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Case Summary
This is a case concerning the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 United States census. On July 30, 2018, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonprofit aimed at increasing access to democratic participation, brought this action in the United States District Court for the District of ... read more >
This is a case concerning the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 United States census. On July 30, 2018, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonprofit aimed at increasing access to democratic participation, brought this action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The CLC sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), § 5 U.S.C. 552. Represented by private and staff counsel, the CLC sought injunctive relief to compel the DOJ to release documents responsive to a FOIA request concerning the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, filed by the plaintiff on February 1, 2018. They claimed that, to date, the DOJ has produced no documents related to this "citizenship question," despite the fact that the DOJ has sent a letter to the Commerce Department to include such a question on the 2020 census.

The CLC's 2018 FOIA request sought the release of documents concerning several key words and phrases related to the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The CLC filed this request to find records pertaining to a request made by the DOJ to the Census Bureau to include such a question.

The case was assigned to Judge Tanya Chutkan.

In September 2018, the defendant released 59 pages of partially redacted responsive materials, while withholding an additional 43 pages of responsive materials. Then, in November 2018, the defendant released an additional 11 pages of materials. The CLC continued to contest the adequacy of the defendant's search for responsive materials, and the defendant claimed that the materials it withheld were privileged, and therefore fell under a FOIA exemption.

On May 8, 2019, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. On May 22, 2019, the plaintiff filed a cross motion for summary judgment. On June 1, 2020, Judge Chutkan granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied the defendant's, holding that the defendant's search was inadequate and that the withheld materials were not protected by an exemption.

The DOJ appealed on July 31, 2020. USCA 20-05233. The case is ongoing.

Jane Fisher - 09/19/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Government Services (specify)
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description The Campaign Legal Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal organization dedicated to increasing access to participation in the democratic process.
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/30/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  CLC v. DOJ (Census FOIA)
Campaign Legal Center
Date: Jul. 30, 2018
By: Campaign Legal Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  2020 Census Litigation
(The Brennan Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-01771-TSC (D.D.C.)
PB-DC-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/01/2020
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief
PB-DC-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/30/2018
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 31] (2020 WL 2849907) (D.D.C.)
PB-DC-0012-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-0002 | PB-DC-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ariel, Nadav (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-9000
Lang, Danielle Marie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-0001 | PB-DC-0012-9000
Miller, Adam B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-0001 | PB-DC-0012-9000
Noti, Adav (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Cirino, Paul (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-9000
Kolsky, Joshua (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-DC-0012-9000

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