The U.S. District judge who called for an emergency conference call after President Donald Trump tweeted something about the 2020 Census that "directly contradicted the position" Department of Justice attorneys put forth a day before has denied DOJ attorneys' motion to withdraw from the case.
This happens one day after Hazel's fellow Barack Obama-appointed federal judge, Jesse Furman, made a decision to deny DOJ attorneys' motion to withdraw from the Census case (that one in the Southern District of New York).
The move marks a setback for the administration as it prepares to make an expected announcement about its new strategy for getting the question onto forms for the census after the Supreme Court ruled last month to keep it off for now.
But nine other lawyers were ordered to remain on the case - for now.
"I'm heartened that both the president and Attorney General Barr have indicated their intention to go forward", Cruz said on Fox News Channel's "America's Newsroom".More news: Raptors fan retires Kawhi Leonard's jersey in viral video
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Furman said the urgency to resolve legal claims in the case and the need for efficient judicial proceedings had only grown. Barring that, Hazel said the government would need to provide detailed reasoning why that was untenable.
"That's why they're fighting the census", Pelosi said, referencing the Supreme Court decision last week that blocked Trump's effort to include the citizenship question. Almost two weeks ago, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the plans to add the census question, saying the administration's justification for adding the question "seems to have been contrived".
The Hill reports that Barr has not provided specific details on how the citizenship question will be added to the census. "We can not ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given [by the Trump administration]", the majority ruling said at the time. The plaintiffs in the case ― a group of states and advocacy groups ― are also seeking sanctions against the department for allegedly misleading them about the way the citizenship question was added.
Afterward, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau began printing census questionnaires without the question and the Department of Justice signaled it would not attempt to continue the legal fight.
Furman said the government could re-submit its request to replace attorneys only with a sworn statement by each lawyer explaining satisfactory reasons to withdraw so late.
Critics of including the citizenship question argued it was designed as part of a Republican ploy to scare immigrants from participating in the survey and to engineer a population undercount in Democratic-leaning communities with large immigrant populations.