MDCR Issues Statement on SCOTUS Ruling Regarding Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

Lansing—Today Agustin V. Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, issued the following statement on today's US Supreme Court ruling related to adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census.

"Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the census represents at least a short-term win in striking down the inclusion of the citizenship question in the census. However, the Court also found that the Department of Commerce has a right to reinstate the question if it can provide adequate justification. Clearly questions remain as to whether or not there is time for the Department of Commerce to take the necessary steps to add the citizenship question. Accordingly, it is imperative that we continue pushing, educating and devoting resources to make sure that all Michigan inhabitants are counted and especially hard-to-count individuals, estimated to be 16% of Michigan’s population."

A complete count is vital for accurate and equitable dispersal of federal dollars for everything from highway construction to special education grants. In 2015, the most recent year for which we have data, 132 federal programs used census data to distribute more than $675 billion in funds. We are hopeful that the Department of Commerce will not take steps to try to justify adding the citizenship question for the census in 2020. Even with this ruling, we will still need to educate hard-to-count communities on the importance of being counted."

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law.  For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

 

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