Anderson and Ocampo frame the “Citizen Question” for the Census argument that will come before the Supreme Court
There is a lot of debate about whether the 2020 census should include a citizenship question. Two researchers frame the argument that will come before the Supreme Court this week.Barbara Anderson, the Ronald A. Freedman Collegiate Professor of Sociology and Population Studies, spent seven years as a member of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC)—three of those as the committee’s chair. As the chair in March 2018, Anderson was preparing to convene the committee’s regular spring meeting when Secretary Ross announced his intention to add the citizenship question. The committee met a few days later. “About half of our comments and recommendations were about why adding this question was a bad idea,” Anderson says. “One reason it’s a bad idea is it’s almost certainly going to suppress response.” Another concern is this could change the way congressional districts are apportioned — a change that could shift power from blue to red states, and from a younger population to an older one.Angela X. Ocampo, an LSA Collegiate Fellow in the Department of Political Science, says that the risk of an undercount among immigrant groups might, in fact, actually hinder enforcing the Voting Rights Act.