By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday broadened the scope of what it will consider in resolving the legal fight over the contentious decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, agreeing also to decide whether the move violated the U.S. Constitution.
In the aftermath of a March 6 ruling by a federal judge in California, the high court said it will decide whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ran afoul of the Constitution’s so-called Enumeration Clause, which sets out the terms under which people should be counted for the census, when he added the citizenship question in March 2018.
Various states and civil rights groups challenging the question have said that asking people about their citizenship could scare immigrants and Latinos into abstaining from the census, disproportionately affecting Democratic-leaning states.
Two judges have blocked the addition of the question. The Supreme Court previously agreed to resolve whether adding the question violated a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act, as a federal judge in New York ruled on Jan. 15.
The court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority, is set to hear oral arguments on April 23, with a ruling due by the end of June.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)
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Updated Date: Mar 16, 2019 01:06:22 IST