The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction last Thursday on the administration’s effort to end the data collection on September 30. That means the census count will continue through October 31, as originally planned.
“Once again, the Trump administration’s unlawful attempts to undermine the census and manipulate the population count to the president’s liking have been stopped,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “We have repeatedly taken the president to court over his attempts to politicize the census, and we will continue to do so whenever he tries to put politics above the Constitution.”
Last June, the Supreme Court prohibited the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question on the census.
Earlier this month, courts also ruled against the administration’s memo to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base following the census count, which determines representation in the House of Representatives for each state.
“We will do everything in our power to stop the president’s shameful actions and ensure that everyone is counted,” James added, “that our states have proper representation, and that our communities receive funding based off an accurate count.”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has pushed legislation to extend several key census deadlines due to the coronavirus.
In a statement, she commended the court’s decision, which she said is based on concerns raised by four former Census Bureau directors and an internal document noting that a rushed count “will result in a census that has fatal data quality flaws.”
“An inaccurate census will hurt Americans in both red states and blue states,” Maloney said, “preventing them from receiving hundreds of millions of dollars their states are due in federal programs for health care, roads, job training and education.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the decision “welcome news” to avoid an undercount, noting that the city’s fair share of $1.5 trillion in annual federal funding and congressional representation is at risk.
Julie Menin, director of NYC Census 2020, said in a statement that once again the Trump administration’s efforts to “throw up a politically insidious and illegal roadblock” to an accurate count failed “spectacularly.”
“This ruling, which will extend the census into October, and sends a clear message that the current December 31st deadline for data reporting cannot work, is a major victory in our fight to ensure New Yorkers get every ounce of the money, power and respect to which we’re entitled,” she said.