Fed. Judge Stops Census Bureau From Ending Count Early

A federal judge has said 2020 census workers should not stop counting early.

The judge’s ruling stops the Census Bureau’s order to end the count early on Sept. 30., census workers are to continue getting a headcount of U.S. residents through the end of October.

The judge said shortening the count period would lead to inaccuracies and reinstated the previous deadline, Oct. 31.

The ruling came in late on Thursday after two days of legal arguments. Attorneys for civil rights groups argued the shortened schedule would lead to an undercount among minorities and hard-to-count communities.

Attorneys for the Census Bureau said the stop date was moved up to Sept. 30 so that it could meet the Dec. 31 deadline for turning over numbers that are used to decide how many congressional seats are given to each state.

The Judge’s preliminary injunction also suspended that Dec. 31 due date.

Previously, a temporary restraining order prohibited the Census Bureau from winding down field operations until the judge came to a ruling.

In Thursday’s hearing, attorneys for the Census Bureau said they would likely appeal the ruling.