Critics have said that the question was an attempt for the Trump administration to attack immigrant communities.
A federal judge in New York on Tuesday barred the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that while a question on citizenship would be constitutional, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and did not follow proper procedure. The ruling comes after a three-week trial in November.
“Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census — even if it did not violate the Constitution itself — was unlawful for a multitude of independent reasons and must be set aside,” he wrote.
Among other things, the judge said, Ross didn't follow a law requiring that he give Congress three years notice of any plan to add a question about citizenship to the census. The ruling came in a case in which a dozen states or big cities and immigrants' rights groups argued that the Commerce Department, which designs the census, had failed to properly analyze the effect the question would have on immigrant households.