Census Worker Accuses U.S. of Defying Court Order on End Date

A federal judge demanded an explanation from the Trump administration after a census worker in Texas said the government isn’t complying with a court order not to shorten the time line for completing the once-a-decade population count.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, on Thursday blocked the Commerce Department from moving its deadline for data collection from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30 after civil rights groups complained the compressed schedule would result in an undercount of minorities. The administration is appealing her ruling.

The census worker emailed the judge Saturday, saying “the administration is planning on ignoring her orders to continue the census.” He included a screen shot of what he said was a group text message from his supervisor.

“Even though the courts have made a decision, nothing has changed,” the text says. “DO NOT SPREAD RUMORS OR MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. STICK TO THE FACTS. The facts are, we are still moving forward with the original plan to finish by September 30, 2020.”

Koh on Sunday directed both sides in the lawsuit to respond to the allegations by mid-day Monday and has scheduled an afternoon hearing.

The case is National Urban League v. Ross, 20-cv-05799, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.