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Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning 2020 Census citizenship question

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington on July 16, 2018. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington on July 16, 2018. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear arguments in a case revolving around the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman is currently presiding over part of a multistate lawsuit attempting to block the administration from adding the question to the decennial census.

That trial, in federal court in Manhattan, is almost finished, but related trials in California and Maryland are slated to start in January.

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will address a limited issue involving the scope of evidence that should be allowed at trial. Oral arguments are set for Feb. 19.

This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has gotten involved in challenges to the Census question’s addition: Last month the court refused to delay the New York trial. That same month, the Supreme Court also blocked a deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in the case but allowed other discovery to proceed, including the deposition of a top Justice Department official.

Furman may rule on the New York case without testimony from Ross, which could affect the California and Maryland trials.

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