In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.
The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.
Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.
The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts. Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.
Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.
The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.
Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break.