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Judge: New documents warrant further look at census question

FILE - In this April 23, 2019 file photo, Immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration's plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, in Washington. Voting rights activists argue that newly discovered 2015 correspondence between a GOP redistricting expert and a current Census Bureau official bolster arguments that discrimination motivated efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 population survey. The plaintiffs, who successfully challenged the question in a Maryland federal court, said in a filing late Friday, June 14 that the email exchange between the late Republican consultant Thomas Hofeller and the Census Bureau official was discovered earlier this week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A federal judge says he’s inclined to reexamine whether a proposed 2020 census citizenship question violates the rights of minorities after reviewing newly discovered documents from a deceased political operative.

U.S. District Judge George Hazel of Maryland ruled Wednesday that plaintiffs have produced enough evidence to warrant reopening the case, even though he already has ruled in their favour on other grounds.

His ability to consider altering his ruling based on the new evidence would depend on a federal appeals court returning it to him.

Voting rights activists argue newly discovered emails between the late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller and a current Census Bureau official show the citizenship question was intended to discriminate.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether the citizenship question should be included.

Jonathan Drew, The Associated Press