Phoenix – Secretary of State Katie Hobbs joined a bipartisan group of nearly 200 leaders from across the country in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the addition of a citizenship question to the census.
“We rely on census data to make decisions that can deeply affect people’s lives, and adding a question about citizenship could jeopardize participation,” Hobbs, who was recently appointed to the governor’s Arizona Complete Count Committee, said.
In Department of Commerce, et al. v. New York, the Supreme Court agreed to expedite review of the lower court’s ruling that barred the U.S. Department of Commerce from adding a citizenship question to the next census. The trial court had concluded that the Secretary of Commerce’s decision to add a citizenship question violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
The brief, filed Monday evening, highlights the significant concern that asking people about their citizenship status will deter participation and result in an undercount of already hard-to-count communities. This will in turn result in reduced and distorted allocations of federal funding for crucial public programs in affected states.
“In a fast-growing place like Arizona, an accurate census count is vitally important to ensuring that we have the necessary federal resources available to honor our commitments to Arizonans,” Hobbs added.
Officials often rely on census data to determine the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to states. An undercount of Arizona’s population will reduce funding available to the state despite Arizona’s actual population and needs, including for the Address Confidentiality Program and Road to Rights Program administered by the Secretary of State’s office.
A copy of the brief is available here.