Judge Denies Trump Administration’s Request to Delay Census Trial

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration will have to go to the U.S. Supreme Court if it wants to delay a trial scheduled for next month over the legality of asking people in the 2020 census about their citizenship after two courts on Friday denied efforts to postpone the proceedings.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman on Friday rejected the administration’s request to halt the trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 5 in Manhattan federal court, noting that the government’s "urgent" need to resolve the issue requires sticking with the current schedule. An appeals court in Manhattan later in the day also denied a request for a stay, without commenting.

Advocacy groups and more than a dozen states, cities and counties have sued, saying the citizenship question discriminates against immigrants and will reduce the accuracy of the count by lessening participation. An undercount in areas with large numbers of non-citizens could shift congressional districts and federal dollars away from those communities.

In its request to delay the trial, the government had cited a Supreme Court decision Monday that halted plaintiffs’ attempts to question Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about his decision to include the question in the census. The high court order extends until it resolves an appeal the administration has said it will file by Oct. 29.

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