Census Bureau stops layoffs after judge’s restraining order

Greg Nash

The U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday in court papers that it will refrain from laying off some census takers while also restoring some quality-control functions.

The announcement comes after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a temporary restraining order Saturday, blocking the administration’s plans that would have curtailed census efforts.

ABC News reported that the statistical agency said it would prevent further layoffs of some census-takers who were in the late phases of making head counts of every U.S. resident, some of whom are still being assigned homes to visit, before a court hearing for a preliminary injunction is held Sept. 17.

The census receives an update every 10 years and aids in determining how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed, along with how many congressional seats each state receives through the appointment process.

The temporary restraining order was requested by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups that sued the bureau over its revised plans to end operations at the end of September rather than October.

The Census Bureau will restore some previously removed quality control steps, including verifying vacant homes, making additional visits to households with clashing information about whether they are empty, and making extra visits to homes when investigating potential fraud cases.

The agency initially pushed back the ending count deadline from the end of July to the end of October. It later requested to extend the deadline for turning in the apportionment numbers from December into next spring.

The GOP-controlled Senate failed to take the request, leading the bureau to compromise on a revised schedule ending in September.

The lawsuit contends that the Census Bureau changed the schedule to fulfill a directive from President Trump to exclude counting undocumented immigrants from the numbers used to redraw congressional districts.

Last week, Judge Richard Wesley of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals appeared frustrated about the administration’s decision to bar undocumented immigrants from the census and questioned the implementation of the new policy imposed in July.

More than six lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. challenging the Trump memorandum as unconstitutional and called it an attempt to limit the power of Latinos and immigrants of color when the time comes for apportionment.

Tags Apportionment Donald Trump Presidents of the United States United States Census

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