Today, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York ruled against the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship status question to the 2020 census, rejecting the administration’s transparent attempts to deceptively frame the question as a defense of voting rights. Leah Aden, LDF’s Deputy Director of Litigation, issued the following statement:

“Judge Furman’s decision is a pivotal victory for our democracy. Including a citizenship status question in the 2020 census would not only greatly interfere with the Census Bureau’s ability to conduct a fair and accurate count of all people in our country, but would also continue to cause widespread fear among immigrant people and communities of color about participating in the census. Millions of people across all areas of our society rely on the Bureau’s comprehensive data about our country, as it is fundamental to the distribution of resources and political power, and critical to policy decisions. As instructed by the Constitution, it is essential that everyone be counted. The removal of the citizenship status question is the lawful and democratic thing to do.

“In a completely separate case, LDF has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice for failure to disclose documents in response to requests that would provide more transparency around the attempt to add this untested, untimely, and harmful question.”

Read LDF’s public comment to the Department of Commerce opposing the citizenship question.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.