Census Bureau Can Stop Counting October 31, Supreme Court Rules

(RepublicanInformer.com)- The U.S. Census Bureau will indeed finish counting for the 2020 Census at the end of this month.

The Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that allowed the bureau to carry out its plan to conclude counting on October 31, which will give it enough time to finish processing all the data before the end of 2020. The Trump administration had been pushing for this move.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was one of the dissenters to the decision. She wrote:

“Meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the census is not a cost worth paying. Especially when the Government has failed to show why it could not bear the lesser cost of expending more resources to meet the deadline or continuing its prior efforts to seek an extension from Congress. This Court normally does not grant extraordinary relief on such a painfully disproportionate balance of harms.”

In August, the Census Bureau announced it would be ending the count by September 30. That was a month before the bureau had originally planned on doing so, but the Trump administration said it would need to conclude that early in order to meet the deadline of December 31 to finish crunching the data.

A big roadblock to the Census collection data this year was the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on data collection in person. That practice was temporarily halted in March once the pandemic began.

President Donald Trump’s sped-up process, along with his plan to not count undocumented immigrants, were challenged in courts from some states. California specifically worried about how the plan could dramatically affect their representation in Congress.

A Pew Research Center report estimated that keeping undocumented immigrants out of the Census count would result in Florida, Texas and California all getting fewer seats in the House of Representatives than expected. Ohio, Minnesota and Alabama, meanwhile, would hold onto seats they would have lost otherwise.

In September, a California federal judge ruled that the Trump administration’s plans would result in the count being inaccurate, which could end up causing “irreparable harm.” The Census Bureau was forced to keep counting until the end of October at that point.

But, the ruling was just a preliminary injunction. Not surprisingly, the Trump administration filed an emergency request that asked the Supreme Court to say it was OK for the Census Bureau to wrap up operations in the field. The argument was that they needed to do so if they were to be expected to meet the end-of-year deadline for the president to deliver the results to Congress.

That’s the request the Supreme Court granted Tuesday, “pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought.”

In an emergency hearing such as this, Supreme Court justices often don’t explain their decision, and they didn’t do so on Tuesday either. Sotomayor was the only justice to sign her name on the dissent.