census2020
A U.S. Census Bureau worker on the Navajo Nation. Photo: Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President
Navajo Nation leaders express disappointment with U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ends the 2020 Census count
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Source: Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer expressed disappointment with Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which allows the U.S. Census Bureau to end the 2020 census count and stop data collection across the country. While it is unclear when the Census Bureau will officially end the collection of Census data, the Nation’s leaders continue to urge all members of the Navajo Nation to immediately complete the 2020 Census online at 2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020.

“I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court’s failure to acknowledge the federal government’s responsibility to accurately count the Navajo people and many other tribal nations. It’s disheartening that the highest court of the land ignored the devastating impacts that COVID-19 has had on the Navajo Nation and the census count. The Navajo Nation fought to the very end and never let up. Despite this setback, we will continue to move forward with strength just as our ancestors did long ago. We urge all members of the Navajo Nation to complete the census online or by phone before the Census Bureau ends the collection of census data,” said President Nez, while also thanking the Navajo Nation Department of Justice for their dedication and commitment to the case.

Tuesday’s ruling overturns previous rulings from lower courts that directed the Census Bureau to continue the 2020 census count until Oct. 31, 2020, which was the original deadline set until the Census Bureau suddenly announced that it would shorten the timeframe for census data collection in August.

“I commend our Nation’s attorneys and all of the co-plaintiffs for standing our ground all the way to the highest court in our country. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on this year’s census count and once again, we will be undercounted even more so due to the pandemic and today’s ruling. It’s disheartening that the Supreme Court ruled as it did, but we have to remain strong and keep moving forward for our children, elders, and many others,” Vice President Lizer stated.

The Navajo Nation officially joined the lawsuit on Sept. 1, 2020, against the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce based on the adoption of an illegally expedited plan, known as the “Replan,” which shortened the time to complete data collection for the 2020 Census by imposing a new deadline of Sept. 30, 2020. The Navajo Nation and other plaintiffs contend that federal defendants illegally curtailed time to complete the 2020 census, threatening to cause a significant undercount of minority populations, including members of the Navajo Nation.

The Nez-Lizer Administration partnered with Census officials to offer on-site information and assistance to be counted in the 2020 Census count, as President Nez and staff members distributed food and care packages in numerous communities to thousands of Navajo Nation residents.

The Nez-Lizer Administration encourages everyone to immediately self-respond for the 2020 Census online at 2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020.

U.S. Supreme Court Documents
Docket No. 20A62: Ross v. National Urban League
Application for Stay [Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross]
Response to Application [National Urban League; League of Women Voters; Black Alliance for Just Immigration; Harris County, Texas; King County, Washington; City of San Jose, California; Rodney Ellis; Adrian Garcia; and the NAACP]
Reply [Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross]
Order: Ross v. National Urban League