U.S. News


Federal Judge Denies Request To Delay Lawsuit Over 2020 Census

A federal judge said he is aware of the time constraints with the census coming up soon.
Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 13, 2019

On Friday, a federal judge denied the Trump administration's request to delay a lawsuit against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Last month, the House Oversight and Reform Committee filed a lawsuit against Barr and Ross for defying a congressional subpoena asking for documents related to the 2020 census. It's part of the committee's investigation into efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. They want to know when and why the administration decided to add the question.

Back in July, the committee voted to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt of Congress, but the Justice Department said it would not prosecute them because some of the requested documents were protected by executive privilege.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled the Trump administration couldn't add the question unless it gave a valid reason. The Justice Department said the question would help enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but critics said it could discourage people from filling out the census. The administration eventually decided not to try to add the question to the upcoming census.

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said there's not a lot of guidance on how to weigh executive privilege versus the House's subpoenas. He said he is aware of the time constraints with the census fast approaching and thinks "it's important to get going with the process."

People can start filling out census forms early next year, and the Census Bureau has until the end of 2020 to announce the population results.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN