The Supreme Court now leans conservative with a 5-4 majority, but it rejected the Trump Administration’s wish to include the question regarding citizenship in the 2020 census conducted by the Commerce Department. The court ruled that the untested question violated federal law. Despite this victory, legal experts point out that there are issues to consider involving this ruling.
- Hiding their motivation: The court said it was a distraction to include the citizen question; moreover, the distraction was based on the administration’s attempt to hide its reasons for including the question.
- The right decision, but there is still a concern: The court dismissed the census question but allowed several other areas of flagrant abuse of power by the Commerce Department, which is in charge of the census.
- The government needs to regain people’s trust: The effort to politicize the census leave many wondering if the government had the citizens’ best interests at heart. Experts estimated that nine million people would not have completed the census if the question was included. What’s more, a study indicated that more than half were concerned or extremely concerned about the confidentiality of the census and that their answers would be used against them.
- The online approach is vulnerable: Experts are concerned that the census is the first to be conducted online instead of following up door to door if people did not respond to the initial census inquiry via regular mail. This could lead to a higher chance for erroneous data and has the potential for that data being hacked.
Protection from data misuse
Those who feel that the data they shared in the census is used against them in some way should seek legal help, particularly in light of citizenship issues. An attorney can fight governmental overreach, ensuring that the rights and privacy of immigrants who participate in the census are protected.