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SABA Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Department of Commerce v. New York

Friday, June 28, 2019   (0 Comments)
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For Immediate Release, June 27, 2019


SABA Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Department of Commerce v. New York


The Supreme Court of the United States dealt a blow to the controversial Citizenship Question today. The proposed Question for the 2020 Census would ask about the citizenship status of each respondent, ostensibly to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. In practice, and as has been revealed as its intent since the Question was first introduced, the Question would suppress response rates in communities with high proportions of immigrants. The Latinx and Asian American communities, historically undercounted, would feel this impact most deeply. An undercount of these communities would lead to fewer services for those communities and voting districts that aren’t representative of the people who live within it. 


The 5-4 decision sends the case back to the lower courts for further consideration, and upholds the Southern District of New York’s decision blocking the Question for now. 


“We applaud the Court’s decision to uphold the district court’s ruling rejecting contrived reasons offered by the DOC for the addition of a citizenship question the Census,” said Aneesh Mehta, SABA President. “On remand, we are confident that the court will see that the intent of the Citizenship Question is to discriminate. Regardless of the final outcome, we will be working to be sure that our community is counted fully.”


As this litigation and others continue their paths through the legal system, we will continue to monitor and participate in the process via commentary, participating via amicus brief and through individual members. SABA-DC member Shankar Duraiswamy of Covington & Burling is lead counsel for Kravitz v. Department of Commerce, recently sent back down to the District of Maryland and one of the several cases challenging the Citizenship Question. 




SABA North America (formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association) is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 27 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent. Learn more at


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South Asian Bar Association of North America