PILF Applauds SCOTUS for Taking Census Case Early

Published On: February 15th, 2019

PILF Submitted Brief in Support of Expedited Hearing

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – February 15, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the 2020 Census citizenship question case ahead of critical deadlines and standard appellate procedure.

The Court absolutely made the right move,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “This decision could give the Justice Department and private parties the chance to enforce the protections of the Voting Rights Act.”

The Foundation was previously granted entry before the district court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court to share the value the citizenship data would have in federal voting rights law.

The Foundation’s brief in favor of certiorari noted:

The district court erred. This error, if not corrected by this Court before the deadline for the printing of Census forms, will have long-lasting effects. The opportunity to collect the data on the 2020 Census, once gone, cannot be reclaimed. This “case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court.”

The Foundation offered two arguments in support of the Government’s request for an expedited Supreme Court hearing.

The citizenship question is plainly a matter of national importance.

Due to the simple facts that reliable citizenship data is mission-critical for any party wishing to enforce provisions of the Voting Rights Act and there are another four lawsuits not yet before the Supreme Court, the circumstances have clearly crossed a threshold whereby the Court is justified in bypassing typical appellate procedure.

Census deadlines are approaching too quickly for standard appellate procedure.

The Government has notified the Court that it is against a hard June 2019 deadline to finalize/print Census questionnaires. The brief argues the nation will suffer an “uncorrectable ripple effect into the future if this critical data … is not collected.”

The latest brief was filed before the U.S. Supreme Court in In Re U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 18-966. Related filings can be found, here.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections – bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. ###

Public Interest Legal Foundation