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U.S. Census Bureau

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

A high-ranking Census Bureau official privately discussed the citizenship question issue with GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller in 2015, according to emails cited in a new court filing in the legal battle over the potential census question.

The Trump administration left behind a long paper trail as it pushed to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Updated June 8 at 9:15 a.m. ET

More than a year before the Trump administration formally asked the Census Bureau to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Kris Kobach discussed including the question with officials during President Trump's 2016 election campaign.

A federal judge in New York is delaying his review of allegations that the Trump administration concealed the real reason for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The move puts the focus back on the Supreme Court, which has been expected to issue its ruling on the legal fate of the hotly contested census question by the end of June.

During a brief hearing at Manhattan federal court Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called the allegations by plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits over the question "serious."

Challenges threatening the upcoming 2020 census could put more than 4 million people at risk of being undercounted in next year's national head count, according to new projections by the Urban Institute.

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The U.S. Census Bureau says the population of Columbus now ranks ahead of San Francisco.

The history of the U.S. census asking about people's citizenship status is complicated.

Many of the stops and starts have been unearthed as part of the legal battle over the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

For the final months of 2020 census preparations to continue as planned, the Census Bureau says it is counting on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the legal battle over the citizenship question by June. But a new appeal filed by plaintiffs in one of the Maryland lawsuits over the question could complicate that timeline.

Updated April 8 at 6:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's plans to add a hotly contested citizenship question to the 2020 census have suffered another major blow in the courts.

The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

A third federal judge has found the decision to include it on forms for the national head count to be unlawful.

Columbus and Franklin County officials have formed a committee and action plan to ensure an accurate Census count next year. 

Updated 7:53 p.m. ET

A second federal judge has issued a court order to block the Trump administration's plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of California found that the administration's decision to add the question violated administrative law.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The decision grants the administration's request for an immediate review of a lower court's ruling that stopped plans for the question. A hearing is expected to be held in April.

The Trump administration is planning to ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court's ruling that blocks the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a Justice Department filing released Tuesday.

Updated Jan. 18 at 4:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.

Eileen Okada was 5 years old when the U.S. government forced her and her family to live in a stall made for horses.

"I remember the stench. They cleaned it out, of course, but didn't scrub it down. The smell was still there," says Okada, now 81 and a retired elementary school teacher and librarian.

Updated 11:00 a.m. ET Tuesday

The Justice Department has discussed the possibility that federal law protecting the confidentiality of responses to the U.S. census may eventually be reconsidered, an internal Trump administration email shows.

Updated Nov. 2, 7:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has refused to postpone the start of the first trial over the controversial citizenship question it added to the 2020 census.

The Trump administration is fending off six lawsuits across the country over a citizenship question that has been added to the 2020 census for, officials insist, one primary reason — to get better data on who in the country is and isn't a U.S. citizen.

Updated 6:25 p.m. ET Friday

The Supreme Court has temporarily shielded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to sit for questioning under oath in the lawsuits over a controversial citizenship question the Trump administration added to the 2020 census.

Updated 10:33 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has temporarily blocked lower court orders for depositions by two senior Trump administration officials in the multiple lawsuits over the new question about U.S. citizenship status on the 2020 census.

Updated September 14

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his staff prepared to embark on a legal fight that would take them to the highest court in the U.S. long before announcing the controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The Trump administration has lost another round in its efforts to get courts to dismiss lawsuits challenging the citizenship question it added to the 2020 census.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg issued an order allowing two cases filed at San Francisco federal court to continue.

The legal fight over the controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census is likely to continue at San Francisco federal court.

"I believe the case will proceed," U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg said Friday during a hearing on whether to dismiss two of the lawsuits against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department, which oversees the census.

Months before the Justice Department submitted a formal request for a citizenship question, pressure to add one to the 2020 census was mounting from a powerful decision-maker behind the national head count: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

Editor's Note: This story contains a vulgar word.

A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that the largest of the six lawsuits against the new citizenship question on the 2020 census can move forward in court.

Updated at 12:54 p.m. ET, July 27

The U.S. Census Bureau has stopped plans to form a new committee of advisers for the upcoming 2020 census, according to a letter obtained by NPR.

The decision comes as the agency prepares for the once-a-decade head count of every person living in the country while battling multiple lawsuits over a new citizenship question and cybersecurity concerns about the first U.S. census to allow all households to respond online. Similar advisory committees were put in place before the national head counts in 2000 and 2010.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

A few months after he started leading the Commerce Department, Secretary Wilbur Ross became impatient. As a powerful decider for the U.S. census, he had a keen interest in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census as soon as possible.

The head of the U.S. Census Bureau says the controversy over a new question about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census is complicating its preparations to conduct a national head count.

For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau will ask all U.S. households about citizenship status, specifically, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

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