Census citizenship controversy likely to face New York trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge is urging a government lawyer to clear the schedule of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a day so he can be asked why he wants to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman encouraged that step at a hearing Friday even before he rules next week whether Ross must answer questions from lawyers.

Furman is presiding over lawsuits which claim Ross is acting improperly. One of the lawsuits was brought by over a dozen states and big cities.

Plaintiffs say the citizenship question will discourage immigrants from participating, diluting political representation and federal dollars for states that tend to vote Democratic.

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The judge also says a trial could start Nov. 5. A government lawyer says there is no need for a trial.

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