WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Donald Trump a significant defeat on Thursday, ruling that his administration did not give an adequate explanation for its plan to include a contentious citizenship question on the 2020 census and preventing its addition to the decennial survey for now.
The justices – in a 5-4 decision with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s four liberals in the majority and writing the ruling – upheld part of a federal judge’s ruling barring the question in a victory for a group of states including New York and immigrant rights organizations that had challenged the plan.
Opponents of the question have called it a Republican ploy to scare immigrants into not taking part in the population count.
As part of the ruling issued on the last day of the court’s current term, the justices sent the issue back to the Commerce Department for it to decide how to proceed. But the clock is ticking, as census forms have to be printed in the coming months.