Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration’s request to immediately stop the 2020 Census count, suspending a lower court’s order that the administration keep the response period open through the end of October. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) released the following statement in response to the decision:
“The Supreme Court’s misguided decision to allow the Trump Administration to end the Census count early has the potential to imperil the integrity of our representative democracy for years to come. It will have drastic, long-term effects on communities of color across the country. Black and Latinx communities are consistently undercounted in the Census. This year, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Census had already threatened to exacerbate that undercount. This decision creates the potential for a catastrophic undercount. For the next decade, the Census count will be used to allocate federal funding for community services, apportion congressional seats, and determine Electoral College votes.
“At every turn, this administration has attempted to dismantle the accuracy and fairness of the 2020 Census. Their efforts to add a citizenship question – an addition the Supreme Court halted – was squarely focused on erasing immigrants and communities of color. Having lost that battle, the Trump Administration now seeks to end the count altogether.
“Census data helps us address the barriers to equal opportunity in all aspects of life. If these data fail to include communities in need – whether it be for educational funding, housing, or other essential services – those needs will continue to be unmet and communities of color will have far less representation in Congress and be subject to gerrymandered redistricting.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.