Attorney General Sues over Census to Ensure North Carolina Gets Fair Share of Federal Funding

Attorney General Sues over Census to Ensure North Carolina Gets Fair Share of Federal Funding

By / State News / Monday, 16 April 2018 15:33

RALEIGH, N.C. : April 3rd, 2018 - Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit April 3rd to block inclusion of a question regarding citizenship in the 2020 decennial Census. Demanding citizenship information would depress Census turnout in states with large immigrant populations, directly threatening those states’ fair representation for billions of dollars in critical federal funds for education, infrastructure, and more, as well as in Congress and the Electoral College.
"North Carolinians pay taxes to the federal government every year," said Attorney General Josh Stein. "In return, they rightfully expect to receive our state's fair share of federal funding for our roads and schools and an appropriate number of Representatives in Congress. That's what an accurate Census provides for and why I will fight any effort to politicize it."
Six former Census directors, including those who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have opposed including the citizenship question in the 2020 Census. In their letter, the former directors write, “We strongly believe that adding an untested question on citizenship status at this late point in the decennial planning process would put the accuracy of the enumeration and success of the census in all communities at grave risk.”
The lawsuit also emphasizes the irreparable harm that will result from inaccuracies in the 2020 Census. Hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds are directly tied to demographic information obtained through the census, including the Highway Trust Fund and other Department of Transportation grants and Child Care Development Grants. Consequently, inaccurate counts can potentially deprive states of much-needed funds designed to protect low-income and vulnerable communities.
The lawsuit filed today is brought under the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as this action will impede an “actual Enumeration” required by the Constitution. It is also brought under the Administrative Procedure Act, which permits courts to set aside unlawful or arbitrary and capricious agency decisions.
The lawsuit, which was filed this morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, was joined by the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia; the cities of New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle; and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Source: NC Department of Justice.

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