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A federal judge in California orders the U.S. census to continue through Oct. 31, 2020. The ruling supersedes the temporary restraining order from the court issued on September 5.
The Trump administration is appealing the decision as it changes the president’s directive to end the census on September 30. Stopping the nationwide count with approximately 95 percent of the population dramatically affects the political allocation of representatives in Congress.
Earlier this year, the deadline was extended to October 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thusly allowing the bureau more time to reorganize the method of data collection. The completed census report was also extended to April 2021.
Late Thursday evening, September 24, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California determined Trump’s abrupt deadline unacceptable from a legal and practical standpoint.
“At a late Tuesday hearing, Kho had signaled concerned with the decision to move up the end date from October 31,” according to CNN. She said it was unlikely the bureau could reach the 99 percent standard for completing the data collection by the end of September.
According to the Census Bureau, only four states have approached the goal. Accordingly, 46 states have not met the requirement of 99 percent. It is unconscionable to think these states would reach the goal by the end of the month.
In August 2020, at the behest of the president, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ordered the census to change the deadline to September 30 with the final report due December 31.
The extraordinary political move came after Trump’s controversial ploy to eliminate undocumented aliens from the census rolls. The administration plans to take this case to the Supreme Court as well.
Eliminating anyone “violates the statute governing apportionment because, so long as they reside in the United States, illegal aliens qualify as ‘persons in’ a ‘State’ as Congress used those words,” stated New York Attorney General Letitia James. Her response came after a federal judge in New York moved to block Trump’s order to eliminate “illegals.”
Prematurely ending the census counting would result in California, along with Texas and Florida, in losing Congressional seats. It also deprives communities of funds necessary for residents’ health and safety.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Federal judge orders nationwide 2020 census counting to continue through October 31; Daniel Allman and Alta Spells
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