PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs firmly opposes the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. She said the action taken today by the U.S. Supreme Court is in the best interest of Arizona and the country, but she is concerned that the issue has not been settled.
“I am encouraged by the news from the Supreme Court, but believe we need to keep pushing to prevent the citizenship question from being added to the census permanently,” she said. “There is too much at stake for Arizona.”
Census data often determines the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to states. A Washington Post report recently showed that a citizenship question on the census likely would result in a large undercount of the Hispanic population in Arizona.
“That would affect the amount of funding available for services in the Secretary of State’s Office including the Address Confidentiality Program and the Road to Rights Program, “ Hobbs said. “In a state with a vibrant, diverse, changing population, an accurate census count is imperative to ensuring we have the federal resources necessary to meet our commitments.”
In Department of Commerce, et al. v. New York, the Supreme Court agreed to expedite review of a lower court’s ruling that barred the U.S. Department of Commerce from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The trial court found that the citizenship question violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
Today, the Supreme Court sent a portion of the case back to the trial court, delaying the final decision on the inclusion of the citizenship question. The Census Bureau is up against a July 1 printing deadline for forms. The validity of including the citizenship question could remain undecided until after the print deadline, effectively preventing it from appearing on the 2020 census.
“This is clearly not the final word on this issue,” Hobbs said.
In April, Hobbs joined a bipartisan group of leaders from across the country in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the census; largely because she believes the question will deter participation.
“An undercount would set off a chain of events that would directly jeopardize communities and programs in Arizona,” Hobbs said. “Every person should count, and that is the bottom line.”
Arizona Secretary of State
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007