On Thursday, June 27, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling to uphold the injunction against the citizenship question on the U.S. 2020 Census. The Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Commerce’s decision regarding the citizenship question did not match the evidence and rationale the Department provided to the Court. In response, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City Attorney Pete Holmes, Councilmember M. Lorena González, and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda issued the following statements:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for democracy. The highest court in our country ruled that the Trump administration lied about their rationale for including the citizenship question on the U.S. 2020 Census. The Court affirmed what we knew: The citizenship question was a politically motivated attempt to undercount communities of color and immigrants and refugees for this president’s own electoral gain,” said Mayor Durkan. “As an American, former federal prosecutor, and Mayor, I am dismayed at the administration’s continued dishonesty. We can never let it be the ‘new normal.’ At the City, we will continue to work with our communities to ensure everyone knows their rights and can be counted. I thank the many community groups who work every day to protect and lift up the voices of our immigrant and refugee neighbors.”
“This outcome is a relief, but it’s disheartening that Seattle had to join this lawsuit in the first place. So much depends on the Census, from representation in Congress to federal appropriations, so those who advanced the citizenship question in aim of an undercount should be ashamed,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “Now the City can turn its attention to maximizing Seattleites’ participation in a truly accurate census and put this politically-motivated citizenship question behind us.”
“Immigrant families are our friends and our neighbors, and they deserve to be counted,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González (Pos. 9, Citywide). “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is another setback for the Trump Administration. It’s more important than ever for every person to be counted in the 2020 Census as Washington State continues to grow. In Seattle, we will continue to support our regional efforts with community partners to continue outreach for the 2020 Census to ensure our immigrant families in Seattle feel supported and safe when they do participate.”
“On behalf of the more than 700,000 people I represent, rest-assured Seattle will continue working with our community partners to ensure that our most vulnerable communities get the resources they need through a full, fair, accurate, and informed census count,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Pos. 8, Citywide). “We have work to do to dial back the racist and xenophobic atmosphere that’s been created, and more work to do as the question continues to linger in legal limbo, but today we celebrate a victory for all of our residents.”
In April 2018, City Attorney Pete Holmes and Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that the City of Seattle joined a coalition of Attorneys General, cities and counties, and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors in a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 Census and preserve a fair, safe, and complete count.