DOJ Formally Agrees To Language Blocking Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

July 16, 2019 1:16 p.m.

The Justice Department reached an agreement Tuesday with the groups challenging the census citizenship question in New York on language permanently blocking the question from being added to the 2020 census.

The proposed order said that the government is “permanently” blocked not just from including the question on the survey forms, but also from “delaying the process of printing the 2020 decennial census questionnaire after June 30, 2019 for the purpose of including a citizenship question” and otherwise “asking a citizenship question as part of the 2020 decennial census.”

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman signed the order later Tuesday.

President Trump announced from the Rose Garden last week that he was backing down from his efforts to get the question included. Tuesday’s proposed order would give an additional layer of finality to the legal fight over the census change, particularly after Trump had earlier this month reversed the government’s initial representations that it was going forward with the 2020 census without adding the question.

The proceeding in the New York census case — a consolidation of lawsuits from private groups and from New York and other states  — is not yet over. The private groups, which are represented by the ACLU, are expected to say by Tuesday whether or not they are pursuing sanctions against certain witnesses they previously accused of lying in their testimony.

That filing was due on Friday but the parties asked for an extension, given Thursday’s announcements by Trump and an executive order regarding the citizenship data he signed later that night.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the judge’s signing of the order.

Read the proposed order below:

The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: