Trump administration not adding citizenship question to census

The Trump administration is dropping its effort to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, bringing an end to a contentious legal battle that reached the Supreme Court.

In an email obtained by CBS News to attorneys who have been leading the court fight, a lawyer from the Justice Department wrote that “the decision has been made” to print the census without the question and that printing had already begun. The Justice Department confirmed the move Tuesday afternoon.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled the administration couldn’t add the proposed citizenship question because its explanation for doing so was insufficient. Opponents of the question had argued its inclusion would lead to the undercounting of certain demographic groups.

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The administration had an opportunity to go back to the drawing board to revise its handling of the situation, but it would have been racing against the clock to do so before the forms needed to be printed.

President Trump had threatened to delay the census, a move that would have immediately run into legal issues.

“Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” Mr. Trump tweeted after last week’s ruling.

The White House and Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.