June 19 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Maryland ruled Wednesday that new evidence in the case of a 2020 census citizenship question warrants further consideration.
U.S. District Judge George Hazel said that the evidence uncovered by the plaintiffs "raises a substantial issue" for reasons to be outlined later in a more extensive opinion, which lead to one of the federal trials related to the question being reopened.
The American Civil Liberties Union and lawyers for the law firm Arnold & Porter said they uncovered documents by deceased Republican redistricting expert Thomas Hofeller, who the plaintiffs said was involved in the decision to include the question, CNN reported.
In the documents, Hofeller wrote that adding the question to the 2020 census would be politically advantageous to "Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."
Hazel was one of three federal judges to rule against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' plan to include the question, stating his department "manufactured" a reason to have census-takers provide citizenship information to mask the real intention.
Ross and the administration had contended that there was no political motive to including the question in the census.
Hazel's ruling allows plaintiffs to ask an appeals court to remand the case to a lower court.