Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Supreme Court Rules to Stop Census Counts Oct. 15

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Census Bureau must stop all census counts by October 15, 2020. The Court issued its opinion ruling in favor of the Trump Administration after weeks of ongoing litigation on this issue. In late September, many advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the Commerce Department seeking an injunction to prevent census counts from ending on September 30, 2020. A California federal court heard the issue and ruled in favor of the advocates and granted an injunction and ordered the Commerce Department to continue counts through October 31 and also order the Department to disregard the December 31deadline for when the total enumeration is due to the President. The Trump Administration filed appealed and also filed an emergency request asking the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. The Census Bureau ended counts yesterday and now must meet the December 31 statutory deadline.

There are many concerns regarding the accuracy and integrity of the data collected by the Bureau given the time constraints and pandemic related impacts to its field operations. NAR along with other advocacy groups support Congress extending the statutory deadline to ensure a complete and accurate population count. NAR supports the Census Deadline Extension Act, which is bipartisan legislation to extend the statutory deadline for when the Bureau must provide the total apportionment count to the President, Congress, and States.

NAR continues to monitor this issue and will provide additional updates.