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Supreme Court Rules Trump Adminstration Can Stop Census Count



The Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration's emergency application allowing the halting of the once-a-decade headcount of every U.S. resident before the scheduled deadline and while there is still ongoing litigation before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Why this is big:

The shutting down of the census early could cause an undercount of the number of U.S. residents, affecting the distribution of congressional seats. Additionally, the interruption of the census could dilute the Democratic Party's voting power.


Background:

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to suspend a federal district court's order that the Census Bureau finishes counting residents on Oct 31st. The administration claimed that the Census Bureau needed to immediately end their tabulation so that the bureau could meet the Dec 31st congressionally-mandated deadline.

  • The National Urban League, the League of Women Voters, other groups and local governments filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, plus the Commerce Department saying the rushed schedule would undermine the accuracy of the census and “facilitate another illegal act: suppressing the political power of communities of color by excluding undocumented people from the final apportionment count.” per NYT.

Justice Sotomayor Dissents:

  • "The Government articulates a single harm: that if data collection continues through October 31, the Bureau will not meet the December 31 statutory deadline to report census results to the President. But it is unlikely the District Court’s injunction will be the cause of the Bureau’s inability to do so."












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