The Census Bureau announced on Monday that it intends to wrap up its count on Oct. 5, despite a judge’s order to continue the census through the end of October.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHouse panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony MORE declared that Oct. 5 was the “target date” to finish self-response and field data collection operations, the Census Bureau posted on Twitter on Monday.
The Oct. 5 deadline would fall more than three weeks earlier than the cutoff date set by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, an Obama appointee, in an order last week.
The Secretary of Commerce has announced a target date of October 5, 2020 to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations.— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) September 28, 2020
August Flentje, the special counsel to the assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Ross’s Monday announcement "reflects the most current planning" and the government can answer questions about the Oct. 5 deadline in the coming days, according to CNN.
Koh has requested the government send in documentation on how the recent decision was made.
Koh’s order prevented the administration from shutting down the census by Sept. 30, a month earlier than the scheduled end date, after Ross abruptly moved the counting deadline forward last month.
Ross’s August announcement moved the deadline to report numbers to the president to Dec. 31 instead of the April 2021 planned date.
President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE’s administration appealed Koh’s preliminary injunction from Thursday to a higher court, CNN reported.
Earlier on Monday, government attorneys informed the court that the bureau was determining how to direct its supervisors to continue until the Oct. 31 deadline, according to the network.
The Government Accountability Office released a report last month saying the administration’s move to push forward the collection deadline puts the 2020 census at greater risk of being inaccurate.
The census, which is conducted every 10 years, helps determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding is distributed.