While it is still possible the administration could come back with a rationale for the question that would satisfy Roberts, officials have already stated they faced a June 30 deadline before proceeding with the complex preparations and printing for the census. The federal Voting Rights Act also requires that district boundaries allow minority voters an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice. "We are presented, in other words, with an explanation for agency action that is incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency's priorities and decisionmaking process", reads the decision.
"Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the goal of the enterprise", Roberts added. The dissenting justices only dissented "in part" with the ruling.
Emerson Sykes, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, welcomed the ruling as a "victory for the First Amendment".
"Today's decision reinforces the Supreme Court's skepticism of state laws that tend to favor businesses owned by in-state residents over those owned by out-of-state individuals", said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
Only one Supreme Court Justice - Samuel Chase - has ever been impeached, and that came in 1805. "This decision now means no more looking over our shoulder and worrying if they're going to take away our license", Doug Ketchum said in a statement provided by the Institute for Justice, which represented the family at the Supreme Court.
California received about $77 billion in census-related funding in 2015, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
The rest of the conservative wing preferred to scrap the doctrine in part because they say it gives agencies too much power to shape the law and how it is enforced and interpreted.
The high court did not say the question could not be asked, just that the administration's current justification for adding the question was insufficient. Two of their rulings involved the legality of partisan gerrymandering as well as the necessity of including a citizenship question onto the U.S. Census.
"It is our responsibility to take care of our citizens".
The court voted 5-4 to block the Trump administration plan.
The mixed rulings have given residents in the country - and especially in MI - with mixed feelings.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its response: You're on your own.
Opponents of the proposition claim that the question could deter immigrants in particular, who might be anxious their data might be shared with law enforcement or government agencies, from participating in the Census. The ruling also will likely lead to the dismissal of similar partisan gerrymandering cases in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Every lower court asked to consider the issue has blocked the administration from adding the question, ruling that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross exceeded his authority under federal law or the Constitution by doing so.
They argued that Hispanics and immigrants in particular will refuse to fill out the census form, distorting the count.
Roberts did give a hat tip to a proposed national legislative fix to gerrymandering introduced by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore Democrat.
Documents created by Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller, who died previous year, showed he was instrumental behind the scenes in instigating the addition of the question. Since congressional districts and federal funding are based not on the number of citizens but on the total population, the consequences of the undercount would be to reduce the political representation of immigrant-heavy districts, majority densely populated urban centers, and shift federal resources away from them. After the next Census Bureau count in 2020, redistricting efforts begin in 2021.
The administration announced the new question in March 2018.
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