Second judge blocks request to change lawyers in census case

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Second judge blocks request to change lawyers in census case

President Trump said Thursday that he will hold a news conference later in the day on his administration's efforts to place a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Trump's administration has faced numerous roadblocks to adding the question, including the Supreme Court's ruling that blocked its inclusion, at least temporarily.

Attorneys within the Trump administration have been studying the census issue and intend to keep the president's order within the confines of the Supreme Court decision, but they are cognizant that whatever action he takes is likely to be challenged in court again.

Trump on Thursday afternoon will address his administration's efforts in the White House Rose Garden at 5 p.m. EDT. The more than 20 Democrats vying for their party's nomination to run against Trump question his immigration policies. The Census Bureau has since begun printing the questionnaires without the inquiry about US citizenship.

A federal judge in NY is now considering whether Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross concealed his true motivation for adding the question, and another judge in Maryland is considering whether the question is "discriminatory".

The judge, however, did allow two lawyers who already left the Justice Department to be removed from the department's team, but rejected the claims for other attorneys.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is replacing the legal team that has been pursuing Mr. Trump's efforts, putting in place a new team consisting of both career and politically appointed attorneys.

Furman's July 9 opinion said the departing lawyers' sworn affidavits should confirm that they will submit to continuing jurisdiction of the court regarding sanctions.

Administration officials previously announced they were ending the effort after the Supreme Court ruled against them on the matter.

The court's decision does leave open the possibility for the administration to make another case for the question.

Barr would not detail the plans, though a senior official said President Trump is expected to issue a memorandum to the Commerce Department instructing it to include the question on census forms.

Trump has repeatedly railed at people against adding the question, saying it's a simple one.

A NY judge made the decision Tuesday, saying the request is "patently deficient".

Key Republican senators said early Thursday they had not been briefed by the White House on the contours of Trump's action.

In a blow to the administration, two federal judges in NY and Maryland recently rejected the Justice Department's request to switch up its legal team in defending the administration in the census case.

"This would result in higher quality data produced at lower cost", deputy Census Bureau director Ron Jarmin wrote in a December 2017 email to a Justice Department official.

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