WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Tuesday appeared inclined to hand President Donald Trump a victory on his administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a move opponents call a Republican effort to deter immigrants from taking part.

During arguments in the closely watched case, conservative justices rallied in defense of the administration’s stated justification for using the citizenship question in the decennial population count, while their liberal counterparts remained skeptical.

The court has a 5-4 conservative majority. Among the conservative justices indicating support toward the administration’s stance were Trump’s two appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, considered the court’s pivotal vote.

Lower courts have blocked the question, ruling that