NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Trump administration denied accusations that it hid evidence that its thought to add a citizenship quiz to the 2020 U.S. Census changed into once aimed at boosting Republicans’ electoral vitality, and said its accusers were making up a conspiracy blueprint.

FILE PHOTO: T-shirts are displayed at a community activists and local authorities leaders event to imprint the one-year-out originate of the 2020 Census efforts in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

In a letter to Unique york U.S. District Hold Jesse Furman, who in January blocked the citizenship quiz from being aged on the decennial census, the authorities called the allegations an “eleventh-hour marketing and marketing and marketing campaign to improperly derail the Supreme Court docket’s resolution of the authorities’s charm.”

The conservative-majority Supreme Court docket is due to the dilemma a ruling by the extinguish of June on whether or not the quiz would possibly per chance maybe also be added in time for subsequent year’s census.

Furman has scheduled a hearing into the current controversy for Wednesday.

Several immigrant advocacy groups, among the many plaintiffs within the case, submitted a submitting to the Unique york federal court docket on Also can 30 announcing that at some stage eventually of their lawsuit the administration hid the indisputable truth that Thomas Hofeller, a longtime Republican specialist on drawing electoral districts, played a “major goal” in planning the citizenship quiz.

Hofeller concluded in a 2015 admire that asking census respondents whether or not they’re U.S. voters “would clearly be a downside to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” in redistricting, the plaintiffs said.

Hofeller, who died in 2018, went on to ghostwrite a draft letter from the Division of Justice to the Division of Commerce, asking for a citizenship quiz on the grounds it would possibly per chance maybe maybe per chance assist put aside in force vote casting rights, in response to the plaintiffs.

In Monday’s submitting, the authorities said it failed to rely on Hofeller’s work and said the plaintiffs were “conjuring a conspiracy blueprint involving a deceased political operative.”

A Justice Division spokesperson said in a statement: “This baseless attack on the integrity of the department and its workers is in step with nothing extra than fevered speculation.”

Opponents have said a citizenship quiz would place off a sizeable undercount by deterring immigrant households and Latinos from filling out the types, out of anxiousness the tips would be shared with legislation enforcement.

Democrats, immigrant advocates and demographers suppose such an undercount would possibly per chance maybe per chance deprive some communities of funds and political representation for the explanation that Census determines how the federal authorities distributes abet, as successfully as seats in Congress.

Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall