Massachusetts to Sue Trump Administration Over Census Change

Massachusetts will be filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration to stop the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. 

The decision by state Attorney General Maura Healey followed after Secretary of State William Galvin condemned a change to the 2020 U.S. Census recently announced by the Trump administration.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced on Monday that the decennial survey will include a question about citizenship status, which the administration said will help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act; however, critics charge that the change will hinder the government's ability to accurately measure responses.

Galvin, a Democrat, speculated that the decision was an attempt by the presidential administration to suppress the count in states, such as Massachusetts, that have large immigrant populations. 

"This is nothing but a blatant attempt by the Trump Administration to frighten minority groups away from being counted and to sabotage the 2020 Census," Galvin said. "The Constitution requires us to count every person living in the United States, not every citizen. This question is completely irrelevant to the process."

Healey, also a Democrat, announced her intention to sue the adminstration on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

"The Census is supposed to count everyone," she wrote. "This is a blatant and illegal attempt by the Trump Administration to undermind that goal. We will sue to ensure a fair and accurate Census that counts the people of Massachusetts."

Massachusetts will follow California, which has already said it will sue the Trump administration over the decision.

One of the ways in which the census data is used is to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This means that the data affects the number of votes that are allotted for each state in the Electoral College. Because the data measures how many people are in the state, it is used to determine the amount of federal resources given to the state.

Massachusetts has an all-Democratic congressional delegation and its Electoral College votes have gone to the Democratic presidential nominee in 13 of the last 15 presidential elections.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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