Colorado joined with other Democratic state and city governments to sue the Trump administration and block a proposed citizenship question from appearing in the 2020 census — even though the state attorney general supports the question.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that the state will join New York, the District of Columbia and 16 other states in suing the government on the constitutionality of asking census-takers to disclose their citizenship status. (RELATED: Dem States And Cities Sue To Stop Citizenship Question)
That move runs counter to the opinions of the state’s Republican attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, who voiced support for the question in April.
“The goal of the census is to produce as accurate a picture as possible of the makeup of our vast and diverse country so that all people that live within our borders can be appropriately represented,” said Coffman in April, according to The Denver Post.
Coffman, apparently due to her support of the question, will not represent the state. Instead, Hickenlooper went around the attorney general and appointed Jacki Cooper Melmed, his own chief legal counsel, as special assistant attorney general to run Colorado’s part of the lawsuit. Coffman’s office did not immediately return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
The Democratic plaintiffs, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, argue they are suing the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau because the question is unconstitutional, as it will discourage people — particularly those concerned about their legal citizenship status — from answering the census, and therefore will not be an accurate record of who lives in a particular area.
“We have a responsibility to Colorado to see that every person is counted,” Hickenlooper said in a statement Tuesday. “Our action seeks to ensure the census is being used for its intended purpose under the Constitution. An accurate census count protects federal funding and our representation in Congress.”
Republicans contend that when it comes to the next redistricting fights, it would be nice to know how many people in an area are eligible to vote.
“Colorado’s next redistricting and reapportionment will be based on its 2020 census data,” Coffman said in April. “We need the most complete information possible to assure fair political representation of the entire state.”
Coffman continued that the state should encourage people to answer the census with the citizenship question.
“In fact, it is so important to be able to obtain this information that federal law provides strong privacy protections for the information that is collected, which should help overcome any reluctance to participate.”
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