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US Government Going Ahead With 2020 Census Without Citizenship Question

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The Trump administration will not include a citizenship question on the 2020 census form, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The decision comes after the Supreme Court ordered further proceedings in a legal dispute over the citizenship question, saying Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross concealed his reasons for adding the field. The Commerce Department supervises the Census Bureau.

“The decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question,” a Justice Department lawyer wrote in an email shared on Twitter. “The printer has been instructed to begin the printing process.” A Department spokesperson confirmed the veracity of the message.

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The case proceeded through the federal courts on an expedited basis due to time constraints. Government lawyers said the Census Bureau needed to finalize the questionnaire by June 30 to ensure timely printing and distribution. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in an accelerated procedural posture given the press of time.

However, some census officials suggested the government could delay printing until October, raising the prospect that the government could ultimately add the citizenship question if it prevailed in another round of litigation.

President Donald Trump suggested he would delay the 2020 census until the dispute is resolved in a pair of tweets following Thursday’s decision.

The Constitution requires a census once per decade to apportion seats in Congress among the states.

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