A federal judge has ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross must sit for a deposition over the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman wrote in a 12-page opinion that an “exceptional circumstance” makes the deposition necessary. “Applying well-established principles to the unusual facts of these cases, the court concludes that the question is not a close one,” he wrote. “Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue in these cases,” he said. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by New York and several other states that say the citizenship question will prevent immigrants from responding to the census. Furman’s ruling marks the first time in nearly two decades that a sitting Cabinet secretary has been ordered to provide testimony in a civil suit.
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