The Constitution does not require the census to be accurate, the Trump administration says

Attorney Alexander Saverlov of the Department of Justice told a federal judge in California, “This cannot be a case that in itself establishes accuracy and some kind of establishment.

He claimed that the National Urban League and other groups challenged the administration’s plan to eliminate the entire American population count in September, instead of October, inventing a new reading of the Constitution.

He argues, he argues, that “the computation clause has an unknown standard of accuracy that cannot really be measured by the courts.”

Sverdlow acknowledges that the Census Bureau has set its own “internal metrics and standards but does not mean they are judicially enforceable.”

The lawsuit by groups and several municipal governments contend that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted improperly when he announced on August 3 that the counting of votes would end on September 30. In April, the Census Bureau announced it was rescheduled operations due to the coronovirus epidemic, and would conduct perennial counts from October 31.
Census officials warned Ross that the new cutoffs were “serious errors,” internal documents show.

Ross said the September 30 cutoff was necessary so that the Census Bureau could crunch the data. Federal law states that the number used to divide seats in Congress between states is as of December 31.

Sverdov said the Census Bureau does not remember that timeframe in decades. In another court this week, Attorney Brad Rosenberg of the Department of Justice said the missing deadline is unchanged territory and suggested it would be grounds for Congress to reject the number.

Melissa Sherry, who was arguing for the groups, rejected Sverdlov’s characterization of her argument, saying the government was taking “an extreme position on everything”.

“We are not asking for true accuracy,” she said. “I think if you take their position seriously, they will say that the Census Bureau can just decide that, you know, we’re going to have an enumerator around the country for a week. Although many People can count them … Our census is going to happen. ”

Sherry pointed to the official 2020 census of Carrier, who said in July that the government did not have enough time to meet its December deadline. “We are out of the window at this point to be able to get those counts from those dates,” said associate census director Al Fontaineot.

In the recently filed court documents, Fontenot said that in late July, Ross had instructed Census Bureau officials to present the days of the plan to end the census by the September date.

“We are saying that the Census Bureau cannot adopt a scheme that undermines the purpose of accuracy, which, in the Bureau’s own words, refers to its own officers, that they can no longer they Which they are trying to do. And get an accurate enough count, “Sherry said.

Judge extends order to stop Census Bureau from finishing counting
The government has 15,000 pages of internal records to present to the court to face the Friday night deadline, detailing how the census timeline changed. Judge Lucy Koh said she had assembled a panel of magistrate judges to review whether specific pages should not be released publicly.

“Please be reasonable,” Koh told both sides.

This is a tight timeline for reviewing the massive pile of records: the documents are essentially evidence that will be considered in oral arguments on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Koh gave a temporary order in the following week barring the administration from ending the counting of votes, while arguments ended.

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