LOS ANGELES – A federal judge in Maryland held a telephonic conference today following the president’s tweet that is at odds with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling and the federal government’s own statement to the court indicating the Trump administration would be moving forward with Census 2020 without a citizenship question.
During today’s hearing, U.S. District Court Judge George J. Hazel sent a clear message to the Trump administration indicating that the government and plaintiffs’ lawyers must return to court for one of two results: Either the government enters into an agreement reflecting its decision not to include a citizenship question, or plaintiffs move forward with scheduling discovery and further litigation of plaintiffs’ intentional discrimination and civil conspiracy claims.
The Department of Justice told the court that it has been instructed to determine whether there is a path forward consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision that would allow it to proceed with the citizenship question. The government also acknowledged that injunctions were in place, and that the Census Bureau is continuing the process of printing the census questionnaire without the citizenship question.
Please attribute the following quote to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“Under this administration, there’s no accounting for doubling down on stupid. Unfortunately, and embarrassingly for our nation, today’s reversal from yesterday’s certainty repeats the pattern of this entire affair, which began with Secretary Wilbur Ross — who inexplicably remains in the Cabinet — lying to Congress and the public about the reason for the late attempted addition of a citizenship question to Census 2020. MALDEF is fully prepared to demonstrate in court that racism is the true motivation for adding the question, and by doing so, to prevent the question from appearing on the Census.”
Please attribute the following quote to Denise Hulett, national senior counsel at MALDEF and lead counsel in the Census case:
“This administration’s flagrant disregard of court orders is appalling, and will result in the same kind of misinformation that leads our communities to be reluctant to participate in the Census, at a time when the Census Bureau should be actively encouraging everyone’s full participation. The government has an obligation to counter the President’s outlandish statements.”
Read a transcript of the hearing HERE
Read a timeline of the Census litigation HERE