The federal census – the headcount of the number of people living in the United States – is fundamental to American democracy. Census results are used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, draw electoral maps all around the country, and allocate billions of dollars each year for essential public services like roads, schools, and hospitals. While the 2020 Census faces a number of threats, action can be taken to ensure the census fairly reflects the makeup of the country. Legal experts Tom Wolf and Kelly Percival will discuss the importance of the census and approaches to ensure a fair and accurate count in 2020.
KELLY PERCIVAL is counsel with the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, where she focuses on issues related to the 2020 census. She specializes in providing comprehensive guidance on the federal Census Act and other laws that protect the confidentiality of census data. She has coordinated amicus briefing in census-related cases throughout the country, including in the United States Supreme Court.
THOMAS WOLF is counsel with the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, where he leads the Center’s census project. He is an experienced constitutional lawyer, who advises civil rights, immigrant rights, and good government groups on litigation strategy and legal policy He also leads amicus campaigns and authors amicus briefs for lawsuits in federal and state courts throughout the country, including high-profile cases before the United States Supreme Court.
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