A judge ruled Thursday night that 2020 Census counting can continue through October 31.
The ruling was issued by California district judge Lucy H. Koh against the Trump administration, which sought to stop counting after Sept. 30, a month before its previously scheduled completion.
Koh’s ruling also prevents census officials from delivering the bureau’s data to Trump administration officials before the end of the year, according to court documents.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced last month that the administration sought to reverse the deadline for census counting back to September and for reporting the data back to December as was originally planned before the pandemic, CNN reported. Instead, the judge’s decision states that the data deadline should remain in April 2021 in accordance with the pandemic extension. (RELATED: Lori Lightfoot Deploys ‘Census Cowboy’ To Boost Chicago’s Low Response Rate)
Koh said the abbreviated timetable would have made the data less accurate, and could potentially result in a lack of political representation for Los Angeles and Salinas residents, according to court documents.
“These facts show not only that the Bureau could not meet the statutory deadline, but that the Bureau had received pressure from the Commerce Department to cease seeking an extension of the deadline,” Koh said, citing both internal emails and other documents that had been presented as evidence.
NEW: Federal judge rules against Trump admin, says 2020 census must continue for another month https://t.co/j0CFCKHcOv
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) September 25, 2020
Her remarks were echoed by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
“The court saw through the Trump administration’s efforts to camouflage its political interference in what is supposed to be the neutral, nonpartisan process of counting every person,” Feuer said in a statement. “Now, with little time to lose and so much at stake, I urge everyone to take the few moments necessary to be included in the census.”
The Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision, The Hill reported. The ruling comes a year after the Supreme Court ruled against his administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to it.
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