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Wilbur Ross

Census citizenship controversy likely to face New York trial

A judge urged a government lawyer Friday to clear the schedule of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a day so he can be asked why he wants to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman encouraged that step at a hearing even before he rules next week whether Ross must submit to a deposition by lawyers representing over a dozen states and big cities in several lawsuits challenging the decision.

The lawsuits allege Ross is acting improperly. They claim the citizenship question will discourage immigrants from participating, diluting political representation and federal dollars for states that tend to vote Democratic.

The judge...