Chief Justice Roberts, writing with the support of the liberal justices, said that the Commerce Department has to better explain the reason for adding the question.
The court’s decision raises the question of whether the Trump Administration will have enough time or the ability to add the citizenship question to the census.
The Administration previously told the Supreme Court that the questionnaire needed to be printed by the end of June.
Roberts writes “—the sole stated reason—seems to have been contrived. We are presented, in other words, with an explanation for agency action that is incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency’s priorities and decisionmaking process.”
“In these unusual circumstances, the District Court was warranted in remanding to the agency, and we affirm that disposition,” writes Roberts.