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Supreme Court halts 2020 census for now

Virus Outbreak 2020 Census Redistricting
Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 13, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday has, for now, stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October.

President Donald Trump’s administration had asked the nation’s high court to suspend a district court’s order permitting the 2020 census to continue through the end of the month.

The Trump administration argued that the head count needed to end immediately so the U.S. Census Bureau had enough time to crunch the numbers before a congressionally mandated year-end deadline for turning in figures used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets.

A coalition of local governments and civil rights groups had sued the Trump administration, arguing that minorities and others in hard-to-count communities would be missed if the count ended early.

They said the census schedule was cut short to accommodate a July order from Trump that would exclude people in the country illegally from the numbers used to decide how many congressional seats each state gets.

The U.S. Census Bureau says it has counted 99.9% of the households in the U.S. during the 2020 census. But the nation’s largest statistical association, and even the bureau’s own census takers, are raising questions about the quality of the data gathered for the nation’s once-a-decade head count.

A report released Tuesday by the American Statistical Association says a shortened schedule, dropped quality control procedures, pending lawsuits and the outside politicization of some parts of the 2020 census have raised questions about the quality of the nation’s head count that need to be answered if the final numbers are going to be trusted.