NY v. Dept. of Commerce
"[T]he Court concludes on the merits that Secretary Ross violated the APA inmultiple independent ways. Most blatantly, Secretary Ross ignored, and violated, a statute thatrequires him, in circumstances like those here, to collect data through the acquisition and use of“administrative records” instead of through “direct inquiries” on a survey such as the census.Additionally, Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question was “arbitrary andcapricious” on its own terms: He failed to consider several important aspects of the problem;alternately ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued the evidence in the record before him;acted irrationally both in light of that evidence and his own stated decisional criteria; and failedto justify significant departures from past policies and practices — a veritable smorgasbord ofclassic, clear-cut APA violations. On top of that, Secretary Ross acted without observingprocedures required by law, including a statute requiring that he notify Congress of the subjectsplanned for any census at least three years in advance. And finally, the evidence establishes thatSecretary Ross’s stated rationale, to promote VRA enforcement, was pretextual — in otherwords, that he announced his decision in a manner that concealed its true basis rather thanexplaining it, as the APA required him to do."