Attorney General Becerra: Trump Administration Officials Deliberately Withheld Crucial Evidence in Census 2020 Case

Friday, May 31, 2019
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Evidence shows Trump Administration knew citizenship question could curtail representation in Democratic districts and Latino communities

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a notice to U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California informing the court of a new developments in its case challenging the citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Attorney General Becerra’s filing updates the judge on a motion in a related suit in New York brought by advocacy groups. The advocacy groups in the New York case filed a motion to sanction the federal government in light of newly discovered evidence that contradicts the sworn testimony of Trump administrative officials. The new evidence shows that the Trump Administration had prior knowledge that the citizenship question could be used to gerrymander and undermine Democratic districts and Latino communities throughout the country.

“You could smell this smoking gun from a mile away,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In the age of Trump, sometimes the truth stinks.”

On March 6, 2019, Attorney General Becerra and his coalition secured a victory in their lawsuit, when the district court ruled that the citizenship question was unconstitutional and unlawful. That ruling blocked the Trump Administration from including the question on the grounds that it violated the Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act and would likely lead to a greater undercount of the actual population. On March 18, in their petition for certiorari, the federal government requested that the U.S. Supreme Court consider California’s district court ruling. On March 5, Attorney General Becerra filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the New York census case, arguing that the district court’s judgment is correct and should be both considered and affirmed.

A copy of the notice to Judge Seeborg can be found here.

# # #