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February 16, 2019

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case challenging the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman blocked the addition with a ruling in January, calling it unlawful "for a multitude of independent reasons." At the administration's request, the Supreme Court will consider the issue in April without requiring the case to go through the normal appeals process. A ruling is expected by the end of June. The matter is time-sensitive because census forms must be printed soon.

Citizenship status has not been part of the census questionnaire for more than half a century, and its inclusion has been challenged by 18 states. Several civil rights organizations and 15 cities are also pushing back against the addition.

Opponents consider the citizenship question to be a ruse by the Trump administration to intimidate immigrant communities and "diminish the electoral representation of Democratic-leaning communities in Congress," Reuters notes. The administration has dismissed that idea, arguing the data the question gathers will help protect Americans' voting rights by better informing House district allocations. Tim O'Donnell

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