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Judge bars citizenship question from 2020 Census

Many states and cities argued that the question might frighten immigrant households away from participating in the census.
Credit: Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census form, at the headquarters of District Council 37, New York City's largest public employee union, April 3, 2018 in New York City. Critics of President Donald Trump's administration's decision to reinstate the citizenship question contend that that it will frighten people in immigrant communities from responding to the census. The Trump administration has stated a citizenship question on the census will help enforce voting rights. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York has barred the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said Tuesday that while such a question would be constitutional, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and not followed proper procedure.

The ruling came in a case in which a dozen states or big cities and immigrants' rights groups argued that adding the question might frighten immigrant households away from participating in the census.

The decision won't be the final word on the matter.

A separate suit on the same issue, filed by the state of California, is underway in San Francisco.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also poised to address the issue in February.