Justice Dept. reverses course on census citizenship question after Trump’s tweet ,
In a Wednesday afternoon conference call with U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel of Maryland pressed DOJ lawyers on how they would square the president’s tweet saying the government was “absolutely moving forward” in including the question,With the government’s position announced just a day before that there would be no citizenship question on the 2020 census.
Department’s civil division, Jody Hunt, said on the call. “We think there may be a legally available path under the Supreme Court’s decision. We’re examining that, looking at near-term options to see whether that’s viable and possible.”
The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.
At the start of the call, Justice Department special counsel Joshua Gardner admitted to the court that the president’s tweet contradicted their earlier position and that they were still sorting out how to respond.
However, Gardner added that the Census Bureau has not stopped its current process of printing the census without a citizenship question, as the government continues to weigh what options it may have.
Hazel ordered the government to make clear whether the citizenship question would appear on the census by Friday or tell the court how it plans to move forward to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The ACLU, a plaintiff in the case, released a statement Wednesday night, saying in part, “Despite DOJ’s repeated statements that the census questionnaire cannot be changed after June 30, the administration is now examining whether it can concoct a ‘new rationale’ for its citizenship question.