Government to Print 2020 Census Without Citizenship Question

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By on July 2, 2019 in Current Events with 0 Comments
2020 US Census form with ball point ink pen on an American flag

The Trump administration has apparently decided to scrap its efforts to put a citizenship status question on the 2020 census after the Supreme Court delayed the issue last week. Reports have come out that printing the census will move forward without it.

Former Obama White House lawyer Daniel Jacobson sent out a tweet with a copy of the email from Justice Department attorney Kate Bailey instructing the census printing to move forward with no citizenship question:

President Trump had initially said after the Supreme Court decision was announced that he was considering making an effort to delay the census to give his administration time to present renewed evidence to the courts to allow the question to be included.

“I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter,” President Trump wrote in a tweet.

Update: On Wednesday this week, the Justice Department reversed course and said that officials were still considering a way to add the citizenship question to the upcoming census after President Trump said in a tweet that the issue was still ongoing.

The Hill reported, “Joseph Hunt, an assistant attorney general with the DOJ’s civil division, said Wednesday that the department has been ‘instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census.'”

Hunt added, “We think there may be a legally available path under the Supreme Court’s decision. We’re examining that, looking at near-term options to see whether that’s viable and possible.”

The tweet in question was sent on July 3 by the president.

On Friday, July 5, President Trump said he was considering use of an executive order to get the citizenship question on the upcoming census.

“We’re thinking about doing that [executive order]; it’s one of the ways, we have four or five ways to do it. We can do the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision [from the Supreme Court],” Trump said to reporters.

On Monday, July 8, Attorney General William Barr said that he sees a legal way forward to include the question on the census but would not offer details. A senior Trump administration official told the Associated Press that President Trump is expected to to issue a presidential memorandum to the Commerce Department instructing it to include the question.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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