After much back and forth legal wrangling as well as a Supreme Court decision, it now appears that the lengthy debate over adding a citizenship status question to the upcoming census has been settled.
President Trump announced today that he is effectively ending his efforts to include the question on the upcoming census. Instead, he will be issuing an executive order directing federal agencies to supply the relevant data to the Commerce Department.
“I’m hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country,” Trump said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
He added, “We have great knowledge in many of our agencies. We will leave no stone unturned.”
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision on the debate which said that the question could not go on the upcoming census, at least for the time being. The Trump administration then said it was still looking at ways to include the question, despite facing a deadline for printing the census.
Attorney General William Barr confirmed that the question will not be on the upcoming census, stating, “The problem is that any new decision would be subject to immediate challenge as a new claim in the three ongoing district court cases. In addition, there are injunctions currently in place that forbid adding the question. There is simply no way to litigate these issues and obtain relief from the current injunctions in time to implement any new decision without jeopardizing our ability to carry out the census itself, which we are not going to do.”
A copy of the executive order is included below.