christine stuart / ctnewsjunkie

The Trump administration abandoned plans Tuesday to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census days after the U.S. Supreme Court described the rationale for including it as
“contrived.”

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who has been working with volunteers across the state to ensure an accurate count, applauded the decision.

“Make no mistake, the damage has already been done given the climate of fear and distrust created by the Trump Administration,” Bysiewicz said. “Thanks to documents revealed in the Supreme Court case, we know that their attempt to include a citizenship question was intended to discourage participation for partisan purposes. The stakes for the 2020 Census are high and Connecticut’s Complete Count Committee will redouble our outreach efforts to ensure that everyone in our state is counted, including those in hard-to-count communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color.”

Attorney General William Tong said the effort to include the question on the 2020 Census was “nakedly partisan.”

“The citizenship question has always been a discriminatory effort designed to intimidate and bully states like Connecticut that have strong urban and immigrant communities into silence,” Tong said. “An accurate census count is critical to securing Connecticut’s share of federal funding for Medicare, education, and core services, so we can help the most vulnerable pockets of our communities. We must now double down on our efforts to ensure every person is counted. There is too much at stake.”

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said accurate Census information is critical for Connecticut.

“From federal funds to reapportionment to redistricting, an accurate census count is critical to ensuring that Connecticut receives a fair shake and its fair share from the federal government,” Merrill said. “Today is a day to celebrate, but tomorrow we will continue to lay the groundwork to ensure that everyone in Connecticut is counted.”

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he needed to add the question at the request of the Justice Department to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. But court documents uncovered during the legal proceedings show that Ross was pushing for the question to be added months earlier and it was him who asked the Justice Department for the request.

Last week, the Supreme Court found that the reason the U.S. Commerce Department gave was “incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency’s priorities and decisionmaking process,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

Connecticut was one of 18 states and 16 local governments and the U.S.Conference of Mayors that was a party to the lawsuit.