Census citizenship question

House Oversight Committee sues Barr and Ross to enforce Census subpoenas

Wilbur Ross President Trump and Bill Barr
Attorney General Bill Barr (R) and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross with President Trump. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Attorney General Bill Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for refusing to comply with subpoenas for documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. 

Why it matters: The White House had previously claimed its aides were "absolutely immune" from congressional subpoenas. On Monday, a federal judge ruled former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under subpoena in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, giving House Democrats a stronger hand to enforce its other oversight requests.

Census Bureau requests citizenship information from states

A man walking out of Driver License Division in Utah.
Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

The U.S. Census Bureau is requesting information from drivers' license records and public assistance recipients in an effort to make documenting citizenship a key aspect of the 2020 Census, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The request has alarmed civil rights advocates who believe it will discourage immigrant participation in next year's population count, which will be used to determine congressional seat apportionment and how federal funding is distributed.