Pelosi: Asking People if They Are Citizens Serves ‘No Legitimate Government Objective’

By CNSNews.com Staff | April 2, 2019 | 10:27 AM EDT

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put out a statement Monday supporting an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives arguing that the Census Bureau should not be permitted to ask people in the 2020 census whether they are citizens of the United States.

A federal district court has held that the Census Bureau may not ask people if they are citizens and the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case on April 23.

“The Department of Commerce’s proposed citizenship question[] is both unlawful and unconstitutional, violating the Census Act as well as the clear constitutional mandate of an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the people in our country in a way that is accurate and nonpartisan,” Pelosi said. “This question, by the Commerce Department’s own calculations, would reduce the accuracy of the 2020 decennial Census, while providing no legitimate government objective.”

“Instead,” Pelosi said, “it would inject fear and distrust into our most vulnerable communities, potentially making traditionally undercounted communities even further under-represented, financially excluded and left behind.”

Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution as originally ratified said: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

The first sentence in this clause of the Constitution was amended by the second clause of the 14th Amendment, which said in part: “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.”

Here is the full text of Pelosi’s statement:

“Our Founders enshrined the Census as a pillar of our democracy, ensuring that all are equally counted and represented.

“The Department of Commerce’s proposed citizenship questions is both unlawful and unconstitutional, violating the Census Act as well as the clear constitutional mandate of an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the people in our country in a way that is accurate and nonpartisan. This question, by the Commerce Department’s own calculations, would reduce the accuracy of the 2020 decennial Census, while providing no legitimate government objective. Instead, it would inject fear and distrust into our most vulnerable communities, potentially making traditionally undercounted communities even further under-represented, financially excluded and left behind.

“Democrats will continue to reject any attempt by the Administration to trample over the Constitution and compromise the integrity of this vital institution of our democracy. The district court’s ruling must be upheld to ensure a fair and accurate Census, as our Constitution demands.”

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