The Trump administration has now suffered three setbacks in federal court on its bid to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge George Hazel in Maryland ruled Friday that the question regarding whether someone is a U.S. citizen was both unlawful and unconstitutional. Specifically, Hazel concluded that it would hamper the federal government's constitutional requirement to count every person living in the U.S. every 10 years. A federal judge in California used the same rationale in a March ruling against the government.
The ruling will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, which is already scheduled to hear oral arguments on the matter on April 23 after a New York district court also ruled against inclusion of the question in January.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the question in June, which is also the same month the census must be finalized.