North Carolina is joining a group of 17 states in suing the Trump administration over a new question added to the Census that asks people whether they are U.S. citizens, Attorney General Josh Stein announced Tuesday.
Stein said asking such a question would diminish Census turnout in states with large immigrant populations, like North Carolina. In turn, the lack of turnout would threaten state congressional representation and the states’ “fair share of federal funding for roads and schools,” Stein said.
In addition, the lawsuit contends that the question violates the Constitution’s mandate that the Census count every person in the country, not just citizens.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the question is necessary for his department to determine what portion of the population is eligible to vote.
Stein is joined by Democratic attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington in the filing of the lawsuit.