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Judge: Census question on citizenship might have discriminatory motive

Associated Press

Baltimore – A U.S. judge says new evidence paints a “disturbing picture” that racial discrimination may be the motive behind the Trump administration’s push to ask everyone in the country about citizenship status.

Immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration's plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, in Washington, Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Last week, U.S. District Judge George Hazel of Maryland ruled there’s enough evidence to warrant reopening a case focused on whether a proposed 2020 census question violates minorities’ rights.

In a court filing, Hazel wrote that new evidence “potentially connects the dots between a discriminatory purpose” and a decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to ask the citizenship question.

Voting rights activists have argued newly discovered emails show the citizenship question is intended to discriminate.

The Supreme Court could render Hazel’s decision moot. The high court is expected to decide this week whether the controversial question should be included.