Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg Getty Images
The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the Trump administration to cease field operations for the 2020 census, which had temporarily halted a lower court ruling that increased the count.
The decision came in an unsigned order, as is typical for emergency cases. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissected.
The order will allow the Trump administration to abolish the Ninth Count while the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals considers the case. The administration has argued that it has already received enough responses to calculate the population accurately.
The case came to light after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross returned to a plan announced in April to raise the count to 31 October as a result of the Kovid-19 epidemic.
In August, Ross said the count would expire at the end of September to meet the December 31 deadline to report census results to the president.
A consortium of advocacy groups, cities, counties and Native American tribes filed suit to have an extended deadline.
In court papers, the groups argued that their communities would “almost certainly be misrepresented and counted in the final census if the administration succeeds in trampling census data-collection and data-processing.”
A California federal district court did not order the Trump administration to stop the count by ordering a Sept. 31 ruling that the 9th Circuit was temporarily upheld earlier this month while considering the case In progress.
In disagreement, Sotomayor wrote that the administration was stressing that the risk of ending the census was quickly insisted that more than 99% of the families in 49 states had already accounted for it.
“But even a fraction of one percent of the nation’s 140 million households are left uncountable to hundreds upon hundreds of people,” Sotomayor wrote. “And significantly, the percentage of non-population is likely to be higher in marginalized areas and difficult areas such as rural and tribal lands.”
Sotomeyor said, “The damage caused by participating in this year’s census is irreparable. Respondents will have to suffer its lasting impact for at least the next 10 years.”
In a separate case related to the census, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to allow undocumented immigrants in the House of Representatives out of the calculations used for appellate representation.
A lower court has blocked that plan and the Supreme Court has not said whether it will review the case. Justice is scheduled to discuss the matter in his private conference on Friday.
An attorney for the Department of Commerce and the National Urban League, which is leading the coalition challenging the administration, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.