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The Census Is Ending Early. Now What?

A volunteer displays information in Korean encouraging people to complete the US Census, at a food distribution bank for people facing economic hardship or food insecurity in a church parking lot in Los Angeles, California.
A volunteer displays information in Korean encouraging people to complete the US Census, at a food distribution bank for people facing economic hardship or food insecurity in a church parking lot in Los Angeles, California.

The last time we talked about the census, we weren’t sure when it would end. But now we know when it can end.

October 15, 11:59 p.m. HST.

From NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang:

…the Supreme Court approved a request to suspend a lower court order that extended the count’s schedule.

The high court’s order on Tuesday, following an emergency request the Justice Department made last week, helps clear the way for President Trump to try to alter the count while in office by excluding unauthorized immigrants from the numbers used to reallocate congressional seats and Electoral College votes for the next 10 years.

The court’s ruling is the latest turn in a roller coaster of a legal fight over the timeline for the count. Last-minute changes by the Census Bureau and its skirting of an earlier court order for the count have left local communities and the bureau’s workers across the U.S. unsure of how much longer they can take part in a national head count already upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

— 1A (@1a) September 29, 2020

What could happen now? And what was the Trump administration’s rationale for ending the count early?

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