Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to count the number of people in the United States. The decennial census is conducted on Census Day, and the next one is exactly one year from today – April 1, 2020. But while civil rights groups are fighting to ensure every person is counted, Michael Park, a partner at Consovoy McCarthy (which one commentator described as “the go-to legal shop for conservative ideologues looking to fight everything from voting rights to affirmative action to abortion”) has been fighting to ensure 6.5 million people are not counted. And this effort appears to have helped earn him a prestigious nomination to a powerful federal court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
The data the census collects is critical. The information determines representation in the House, and it is used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds, including critical money for education, health care, economic development, and transportation.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party (which has repeatedly engaged in racial gerrymandering and partisan redistricting to make it harder for people of color, Latinos, Native Americans, young people, and the economically disadvantaged to have their vote count) is now also trying to rig the census: The Trump Administration is trying to add a question to the 2020 census asking U.S. residents to disclose if they are citizens.