Supreme Court tells Trump administration it can end the Census count NOW
Oct 15 2020
They managed to get almost two extra weeks of counting people as the case made its way through the courts.
Trump's lawyers have appealed that ruling to the high court as well.
The justices put on hold a lower court ruling that had ordered that the decennial population count be continued until October 31.
After the Supreme Court's decision, the Census Bureau said field operations would end on Thursday.
The Trump administration argued that the head count needed to end immediately to give the bureau time to meet a year-end deadline. The figures also determine the number of Electoral College votes each state receives.
Still, if the commerce secretary, who oversees the bureau, were to present the new state counts to the White House by December 31, that would ensure that even if Trump did not win reelection, he could attempt to carry out the unprecedented change he wants to make to who is counted when determining the reallocation of House seats.
The Supreme Court order was issued unsigned but with a dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Once the report is delivered, Trump is expected to exclude illegal immigrants from the once-in-a-decade recalculation of how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives.
Opponents of the order said it followed the strategy of the late Republican redistricting guru, Thomas Hofeller, who had advocated using voting-age citizens instead of the total population when it came to drawing legislative seats since that would favor Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.
Lower courts previously ordered the administration to keep counting through October 31, reverting to an extended schedule that Trump officials had first proposed in April in response to delays caused by the pandemic and then abruptly made a decision to abandon in July.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California issued an injunction effectively ordering the Census Bureau to continue its count through October 31.
The panel of three appellate judges said that just because the year-end deadline is impossible to meet doesn't mean the court should require the Census Bureau to miss it.
She said it will be a few months before official numbers are in and they know how many people in Cincinnati actually responded.
Its data is used to determine Congressional seats, voting districts and the allocation of federal funding.
Governor Stephen Roe Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community - one of the lawsuit's plaintiffs - called the ruling "a bitter pill for us to swallow here on the Reservation" in Arizona.
"A census count delayed is justice denied", Liccardo said. The proposal passed through the House but was not taken up in the Senate. Then, in late July and early August, bureau officials shortened the count schedule by a month so that it would finish at the end of September.
Since May, the Census Bureau has reported delays in the counting, owing to the pandemic.
"For more than a year, there has been a state-wide NY census operation, which understood that it was up against an administration that would do everything it could to keep immigrant New Yorkers from being counted and acted accordingly".
"With no explanation or rationale, a majority simply decided that our people do not deserve to be counted, thus continuing a long history of leaving Indian peoples at the margins of the US society at large and economy", Lewis said in a statement.