U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Saturday that the U.S. Census should continue until a full hearing can be held on September 17, despite an announcement that the count would end a month early, on September 30.
“In her order, Koh wrote that ‘the balance of the hardships and public interest tipped sharply in the Plantiffs’ favor’ as it’s in the public interest to distribute funds and reapportion fairly on the basis of accurate data.”-The Texas Tribune, September 6, 2020
The City of Houston joined the National Urban League and the League of Women Voters to continue the count after the Bureau’s announcement in August. An accurate census count is integral to the redistricting process which will occur in the Texas Legislature during the 2021 Legislative Session.
Read the full Texas Tribune story below.
Judge temporarily halts efforts to end census count early
“Judge temporarily halts efforts to end census count early” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
A federal judge on Saturday ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to halt its plans to wind down operations a month early.
The temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh was the first ruling in a lawsuit brought last month by voting and civil rights groups and Democrat-led local governments, including Harris County, challenging a Trump Administration order to wind down the once-per-decade population count by the end of September. It says that the Census Bureau and Commerce Department, which oversees the agency, must continue operations as planned until a Sept. 17 hearing where Koh will decide whether the count may continue until the original Oct. 31 deadline.
The bureau announced in early August that it moved up the deadline for citizens to respond to Sept. 30. A coalition led by the National Urban League and the League of Women Voters swiftly challenged the decision in court, alleging that the shortened schedule will not produce an accurate count of the U.S. population. The count dictates the distribution of federal funding and reapportionment of congressional seats.
Harris County, which invested $4 million in boosting census outreach, quickly signed onto the lawsuit.
In her order, Koh wrote that “the balance of the hardships and public interest tipped sharply in the Plantiffs’ favor” as it’s in the public interest to distribute funds and reapportion fairly on the basis of accurate data.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/06/judge-temporarily-halts-census-wind-down/.
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