Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont and Coalition of States Successfully Block Federal Government from Adding Citizenship Question to Census

January 18, 2019

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that a court has blocked the federal government’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire. In April 2018, the State of Vermont joined a coalition of 17 other states, the District of Columbia, 15 cities and counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to block the federal government from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 Census. The coalition was led by the New York Attorney General’s Office. In its decision, the Court agreed with the coalition and concluded that U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question was “unlawful for a multitude of independent reasons and must be set aside.”

“In addition to being unlawful, adding a citizenship question to the Census would depress Census participation and jeopardize the accuracy of the Census,” Attorney General Donovan said. “Moreover, there’s just no legitimate reason to add this question.”

Last modified: January 18, 2019