Supreme Court allows census count to cease

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The Supreme Court has cleared the Trump administration to proceed with its plan to end enumeration for the decennial census early, blocking a lower court order that required the government to continue with the count as originally planned through the end of October.

The high court’s order Tuesday granting the Justice Department’s request for an emergency stay offered no explanation for the decision, which required the support of at least five justices. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a written dissent.

After initially claiming it required an extension due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration switched gears this summer and said it would end enumeration a month early, by Sept. 30, so it could produce census data for apportionment of congressional districts for the next decade by the end of the year. Separately, Trump asked the Census Bureau to provide that count excluding undocumented immigrants — a request that would represent a shift from previous practice and is also tied up in court from litigants who say it is unconstitutional.

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