, 91 tweets, 116 min read Read on Twitter
I have the receipts laid out for you on what could be one of the most influential legal battles over the next decade.

How the Trump admin pushed for a #2020census citizenship question and ended up in court👇

(I'll be at the trial in NY starting Monday.)

2. I've been following the trail of internal emails, memos released as part of the #2020census citizenship question lawsuits since June👇

3. And if you're wondering what's so important about the census👇

4. Putting together the timeline of what's led up to the #2020census citizenship question trial in NY reminded me of some striking congressional testimony by @CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

(Yes, stand by for video receipts...)
@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss 5. In March, @RepJoseSerrano, D-NY, asked @SecretaryRoss if White House directed him to add a citizenship Q to #2020 census.

Ross discussed it w then-WH adviser Steve Bannon & pushed for Q after taking over @CommerceGov.

But here's how Ross testified👇
@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano 6. At same March hearing, @SecretaryRoss gave more testimony on citizenship Q that has led to @RepGraceMeng, D-NY, asking @TheJusticeDept to investigate Ross for potentially committing the crime of making false statements to members of Congress👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept 8. Later in March, @SecretaryRoss' testimony to @RepJudyChu, D-Calif., overlooked how his @CommerceGov staff approached @TheJusticeDept staff first to ask DOJ to submit a request for a citizenship question👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu 9. In May, when @SenatorLeahy, D-Vt., asked why there's a "sudden interest" in a citizenship question given that many voting rights advocates say the Q isn't necessary, here's how @SecretaryRoss testified (via @cspan)👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan 10. Now onto what U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has testified in Congress about the #2020census citizenship question that, the Trump administration argues, is needed by @TheJusticeDept to better enforce Voting Rights Act protections against racial discrimination.
@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan 11. In April, Sen. @BrianSchatz, D-Hawaii, asked AG Jeff Sessions to respond to worries among communities of color that the citizenship question will scare people from responding to the #2020census. Sessions called those concerns "overblown"👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz 12. If you skipped that video, AG Jeff Sessions testified to Sen. @BrianSchatz that the #2020census citizenship question "shouldn't scare people."

"They don't have to answer it, really," he said.

You can be fined for refusing to answer. Here's the law👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz 13. The gov't has rarely fined, prosecuted someone for not answering census.

But you're more than likely to get a phone call or an in-person visit from a census worker.

And that is scary to a lot of people, as @MPenalozaNPR & I have reported👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz @MPenalozaNPR 14. Wrapping up for now with a chilling video on citizenship question research by @YoungRubicam @psbresearch for a @uscensusbureau study.

Some of the hardest-to-count groups in U.S. think citizenship Q will be used to locate undocumented immigrants👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz @MPenalozaNPR @YoungRubicam @psbresearch @uscensusbureau 15. Federal law prohibits @uscensusbureau from sharing info on individuals with FBI, ICE, other law enforcement & from releasing that info to public until 72 years after it's collected.

But many people don't believe the gov't will keep that promise👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz @MPenalozaNPR @YoungRubicam @psbresearch @uscensusbureau 16. @uscensusbureau can share info w public abt specific demographic groups at a level as detailed as a specific neighborhood. Valuable data for researchers. But bureau has to work hard to protect confidentiality, as Chief Scientist @john_abowd explains👇

@CommerceGov @SecretaryRoss @RepJoseSerrano @RepGraceMeng @TheJusticeDept @RepJudyChu @SenatorLeahy @cspan @brianschatz @MPenalozaNPR @YoungRubicam @psbresearch @uscensusbureau @john_abowd 17. Watch this space for more from the courthouse once the citizenship question trial begins in NY tomorrow (Nov. 5) at 9:15 a.m. ET.

Back to digging,

Your @NPR #2020census reporter
18. Some late breaking receipts from deposition of acting head of @TheJusticeDept’s civil rights division👇

19. Good morning from outside Manhattan federal courthouse where 1st trial over #2020census citizenship question is set to start at 9:15 a.m. ET.

“We are fighting for a fair count!” chant members, supporters of lawsuit plaintiffs @thenyic @MaketheRoadNY👇
@thenyic @MaketheRoadNY 20. Day 1 of #2020census citizenship question trial in NY so far has been a public seminar on how the census works & survey methodology.

Instead of a thread on plaintiffs' 1st witness - @DukePoliSci's D. Sunshine Hillygus - here's her expert report👇

21. During cross-exam of D. Sunshine Hillygus, @TheJusticeDept atty asks if she can rule out possibility of @uscensusbureau conducting a randomized controlled trial of citizenship Q before census begins.

But bureau's chief scientist has testified...👇

@TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 22. Cross-examination of D. Sunshine Hillygus was conducted by attorney Martin Tomlinson of @TheJusticeDept's civil rights division.
@TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 23. Plaintiffs have called @PSUSocCrim's Jennifer Van Hook to the witness stand.

Here's her affidavit on impact of #2020census citizenship question👇

@TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau @PSUSocCrim 24. Court has adjourned for day 1 of #2020census citizenship question trial.
@TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau @PSUSocCrim 25. Plaintiffs are calling to the stand tomorrow (Nov. 6):

- Hermann Habermann, former @uscensusbureau deputy director & chief statistician of US

(EXPERT REPORT: apps.npr.org/documents/docu…)

- Joe Salvo, chief demographer @NYCPlanning

26. Day 2 of #2020census citizenship trial in NY is set to start at 9:15 a.m. ET. Courtroom gallery is a lot emptier than yesterday’s full house. Here’s what’s coming up👇

27. New York City's chief demographer, Joe Salvo, of @NYCPlanning is up on the witness stand for the #2020census citizenship question trial in NY.
@NYCPlanning 28. Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning agrees w @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist John Abowd that the citizenship question is "likely to lower the level of self-response" to #2020census. Salvo warns that could lead to "operations that introduce error."


@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 29. "You end up with a census that is manufactured in ways that compromise accuracy and compromise the count" when you try to compensate for the citizenship question lowering self-response to the #2020census, Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 30. Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified about "real ramifications" of not having accurate census info about neighborhood changes in age, race/ethnicity, English proficiency. NYC officials would have to make policy decisions "based on a flawed profile of who's there," Salvo said.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 31. Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning says no waiver request to allow @uscensusbureau to hire #2020census workers who are not U.S. citizens is "a problem now and if the rule is not changed...a problem down the road" - esp in noncitizen-majority neighborhoods👇

@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 32. "I see in the field the fear that has been generated" by the #2020census citizenship question, Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified.

"We're headed in the wrong direction" assuming that past @uscensusbureau efforts to address lowered self-response will work, Salvo said.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 33. "Anything that drives down self-response is a problem" for the #2020census, Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified about why he's concerned about the new citizenship question.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 34. "As a local demographer, it's very concerning. Actually, it's frightening," Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified about his concerns about using existing government records to count people who don't respond themselves to the #2020census.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 35. "There is a lot of pressure on New York's housing stock," Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified. He's worried @uscensusbureau will have to rely on landlords to respond to #2020census - and underreport - on behalf of tenants afraid of citizenship Q in over-occupied units.
@NYCPlanning @uscensusbureau 36. The general sentiments among New York City's immigrant communities about the #2020census was "already souring" before the citizenship question was announced, Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified. Since then, "it's exasperated the whole thing," he said.
37. CORRECTION TO TWEET NO. 22: Martin Tomlinson works in @TheJusticeDept's civil, not civil rights, division. (Sorry, can’t delete inaccurate tweet bc thread.)
38. Day 2 of the #2020census citizenship question trial ended around 3:20 p.m. ET, earlier than expected.

Stand by for some more takeaways...
39. @nycgov has upped its #2020census outreach budget - $4.3 to $5.5 million - bc of Trump admin adding a citizenship question, Joe Salvo of @NYCPlanning testified during 2nd day of citizenship Q trial.

"It intensified the resolve of City Hall to commit resources," Salvo said.
@nycgov @NYCPlanning 40. Issue of #2020census hiring of noncitizens for special language/cultural skills came up during Joe Salvo's cross-examination.

@TheJusticeDept atty Garrett Coyle asked if it was Salvo's understanding that @uscensusbureau has asked Congress for permission to hire noncitizens.
@nycgov @NYCPlanning @TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 41. Joe Salvo testified he was not aware if @uscensusbureau has asked Congress for permission to hire noncitizens.

"That would be great," Salvo added.

I followed up w chief of bureau's public info office, Michael Cook, who referred me to this from Aug👇

@nycgov @NYCPlanning @TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 42. The other Day 2 plaintiffs' witness at #2020census citizenship Q trial in NY was former @uscensusbureau Deputy Director & Chief Statistician of US Hermann Habermann.

His expert report is worth a read👇

@nycgov @NYCPlanning @TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 43. Habermann emphasized there's a need for pretesting of a citizenship Q, its impact on #2020census response rate & data quality.

During cross-examination, @TheJusticeDept atty Stephen Ehrlich asked Habermann if testing always faces constraints of budget, resources & time.
@nycgov @NYCPlanning @TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau 44. @TheJusticeDept atty Stephen Ehrlich also asked Habermann if @OMBPress could order more testing of the #2020census questionnaire before approving it can be used. Habermann testified yes.
@nycgov @NYCPlanning @TheJusticeDept @uscensusbureau @OMBPress 45. Plaintiffs in #2020census citizenship question trial in NY are calling to the stand tomorrow (Nov. 7):

- Bill O'Hare, demographer who has researched census undercount of young children

- Andrew Reamer of @GWIPPGWU, who has researched how the census affects federal funding
46. I’m back in court for Day 3 of the #2020census citizenship question trial in NY.

Btw, here’s what this hotly-contested question looks like👇
47. Day 3 of #2020census citizenship Q trial in NY ended around 11 a.m., only abt 2 hours long. Back in court Fri, Nov. 9, when plaintiffs plan to call to stand:

- John Thompson, former @uscensusbureau director

- @realMABarreto, @UCLA professor & co-founder of @LatinoDecisions
48. #2020census citizenship Q trial in NY may end as early as Tuesday, Nov. 13, if both sides can wrap up over next 2 days. (Court closed Monday to observe Veterans Day.) Timing of ruling from U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman still TBD. Another X factor👇

49. Here's the declaration from @GWIPPGWU's Andrew Reamer, one of the Day 3 plaintiffs' witnesses who testified about the potential impact of a #2020census undercount on federal funding👇

@GWIPPGWU 50. And here's the affidavit of William O'Hare, the other Day 3 plaintiffs' witness👇

51. #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY's set to resume tomorrow (Nov. 9) 9 am ET, ending around 3:30 pm per U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman's order.

Expert report by fmr @uscensusbureau Dir. John Thompson, one of Day 4 plaintiffs' witnesses👇

52. I’m back in court for Day 4 of the #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY.

Sitting in gallery behind plaintiffs’ table is former @uscensusbureau Director John Thompson, once a top gov’t bureaucrat who is getting ready to testify against the gov’t today in these cases.
53. #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY resumes Tuesday, Nov. 13. Trial now could end as early as Nov. 14.

Plaintiffs calling to witness stand:

- @cwarshaw, @GWtweets poli sci prof

- Lisa Handley, voting rights expert

- @john_abowd, @uscensusbureau chief scientist
54. On lunch break from Day 5 of #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY. @uscensusbureau’s Chief Scientist @john_abowd is on the stand, testifying on what his memos to @SecretaryRoss & analysis by his “swat team” of researchers have recommended — don’t add a citizenship Q.
55. Lots of references during @ACLU’s @dale_e_ho’s direct examination to @john_abowd‘s January 2018 memo to @SecretaryRoss👇

56. And to working paper by J. David Brown, Misty L. Heggeness, Suzanne M. Dorinski, Lawrence Warren & Moises Yi of
@uscensusbureau Center for Economic Studies👇

57. @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd testified everyone he knows at agency was “surprised” by @CommerceGov emails, memos dated before Dec. 12, 2017, released for #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits. Docs show Commerce, not @TheJusticeDept, initiated request for Q
58. Day 5 of #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY has ended, but @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd’s testimony continues tomorrow (Nov. 14).

He’s the last witness & U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman has tentatively scheduled oral/closing arguments for Nov. 27.
@uscensusbureau @john_abowd 59. Takeaways from @aclu @dale_e_ho's direct exam...

@john_abowd does not know who changed @uscensusbureau's response to @CommerceGov Q: "What was the process that was used in the past to get questions added to the decennial Census"?


@uscensusbureau @john_abowd @ACLU @dale_e_ho @CommerceGov 60. If you skipped earlier thread, someone changed @uscensusbureau response from "The Census Bureau follows a well-established process when adding or changing content on the census..." to "the Census Bureau did not feed bound by past precedent when considering [sic]" DOJ request.
@uscensusbureau @john_abowd @ACLU @dale_e_ho @CommerceGov 61. Chief Scientist @john_abowd acknowledged that research like this suggests @uscensusbureau faces "major difficulty" in regaining "the trust of the Hispanic community"👇

@uscensusbureau @john_abowd @ACLU @dale_e_ho @CommerceGov 62. After plaintiffs' atty @dale_e_ho of @aclu played this clip of @TheJusticeDept's John Gore, @john_abowd testified it's unusual for agency requesting @uscensusbureau
to collect data to refuse to meet with bureau's technical staff to discuss request👇

64. @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd testified reports on President Trump considering exec order to end birthright citizenship could affect #2020census participation, bureau hasn't tested potential impact as bureau’s National Advisory Committee recommended on Nov. 2👇
65. #2020census dates to keep in mind per @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd's testimony:

Final artwork for #2020census forms is due to printer by June 2019. Any changes made after Oct. 31, 2019, will require major redesigns and may need congressional authorization.
66. Back in court for Day 6 of #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY. @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd's back on stand to answer Qs from @TheJusticeDept atty Stephen Ehrlich. Statement from @CommerceGov spokesperson Kevin Manning yesterday nods to DOJ argument👇
67. On morning break. Quick takeaways from @john_abowd’s testimony...

Abowd testified he did not have impression that @SecretaryRoss had made up his mind on whether to add #citizenshipquestion during Abowd’s only meeting w Ross in February 2018, recalls Ross adding lots of Qs.
68. @john_abowd addressed all expert testimony plaintiffs have presented so far by testifying he does not believe there is credible, quantitative evidence that including #citizenshipquestion on #2020census will affect accuracy of head count.
69. BREAKING: @uscensusbureau’s considering plans to conduct test of self-response rates to new #citizenshipquestion on #2020census from July 1-Aug. 15, 2019, Chief Scientist @john_abowd testified at NY trial. If finalized, this would be first direct testing of Q for #2020census.
70. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called Trump administration’s failure to disclose plans for @uscensusbureau test of self-response rates to #citizenshipquestion before today a “blatant violation” of discovery obligation to disclose all documents related to census tests (RCTs)
71. Judge Furman said he’s inclined to strike that part of @john_abowd’s testimony about planned #citizenshipquestion test and that he doesn’t think it’s relevant to judging @SecretaryRoss’ decision to add Q to #2020census.
72. Based on his questions to witnesses, Judge Furman seems interested to know about whether states, cities and other @uscensusbureau “partners” in drumming up #2020census participation have add to spend own money for outreach campaigns👇

73. Prompted by @TheJusticeDept‘s Stephen Ehrlich, @john_abowd said @uscensusbureau methodologists, incl. Acting Deputy Dir. Enrique Lamas, agree #2020census #citizenshipquestion “properly tested” bc used on American Community Survey, cited this policy👇

74. Day 6 of #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY has ended — and Day 7 starts at 9:45 a.m. ET tomorrow (Nov. 15) with @john_abowd still on the stand. Plaintiffs also plan to bring back Sunshine Hillygus as rebuttal witness to Abowd’s testimony.

Stand by for takeaways...
75. US District Judge Jesse Furman said he was “a little surprised to see” that @SecretaryRoss gave interview to @YahooFinance’s Andy @Serwer yesterday (Nov 13) “given he didn’t have time for a deposition” (#SCOTUS still reviewing admin request to block)

@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer 76. Day 7 of the #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial is NY is underway. @dale_e_ho of @ACLU is back to questioning @uscensusbureau Chief Scientist @john_abowd. (Lots to still catch you up on from Day 6, thread reader.)
@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer @dale_e_ho @ACLU @uscensusbureau @john_abowd 78. @dale_e_ho asked @john_abowd for his interpretation of Ross' comment "There was in the air early in the administration a whole bunch of questions about census."

"Not the air I was breathing,"
Abowd said.
@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer @dale_e_ho @ACLU @uscensusbureau @john_abowd 79. @john_abowd has stepped down from witness stand after three days of testimony. The defendants rest. Plaintiffs are calling Sunshine Hillygus back to the stand as a rebuttal witness.
@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer @dale_e_ho @ACLU @uscensusbureau @john_abowd 80. Both sides have agreed to reopen record in #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY if #SCOTUS allows @SecretaryRoss' deposition to proceed before U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman makes ruling. (@TheJusticeDept's reply brief to #SCOTUS due by 2 p.m. ET today.)
@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer @dale_e_ho @ACLU @uscensusbureau @john_abowd @TheJusticeDept 81. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman has scheduled closing/oral arguments for #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY for Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 9:30 a.m. ET Judge said they're likely to last at least until 1 p.m.
@SecretaryRoss @YahooFinance @serwer @dale_e_ho @ACLU @uscensusbureau @john_abowd @TheJusticeDept 82. Court is adjourned. Judge Furman told attorneys he "really enjoyed" the #2020census #citizenshipquestion trial in NY and commended both sides on preparing well. "It was a joy to watch at times," he said before leaving the courtroom.
83. Back in court for closing arguments in #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits in NY. What to expect per U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman👇
84. Post-trial briefs to catch you up👇

85. On AM break.

@TheJusticeDept atty Brett Shumate argued if judge orders injunction of citizenship Q, it should only be applied to plaintiffs w standing. Furman asked if that could mean no Q only for forms in NY. Up to @SecretaryRoss to decide, Shumate said.
86. Closing arguments have ended. Judge Furman says he plans to issue a final ruling in next few wks. He has “invited” attys to file last briefs by next Tuesday, Dec. 4, emphasizing he’s not requiring it “for fear defendants run to the Supreme Court” claiming irreparable harm.
87. “This trial was about lies, cheating and abuse of power from the very top,” said Liz OuYang of New York Counts 2020 & @thenyic, one of lead plaintiffs in #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits in NY, after closing arguments ended.
88. From @TheJusticeDept spokesperson Kelly Laco on closing arguments for #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits in NY👇
@TheJusticeDept 89. Remember: the @uscensusbureau has not asked all households about U.S. citizenship status since 1950👇

90. From spokesperson for @NewYorkStateAG’s office, which is representing some of the lead plaintiffs in #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits in NY👇

91. From @yatziritovar & Amy Taylor of @MaketheRoadNY, one of the plaintiffs in #2020census #citizenshipquestion lawsuits in NY👇
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Hansi Lo Wang
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!