Judge Slows Census Bureau Effort To End Count Early

Judge Slows Census Bureau Effort To End Count Early
Critics say that the Trump administration's efforts to end the census early could result in undercounting minorities.

The Census Bureau must stop — at least temporarily — its plans to wind down operations early. Its count was set to wrap up at the end of this month, but a federal judge in California issued a restraining order Saturday. 

Back in April, the bureau said because of COVID-19, it needed extra time to get accurate U.S. population data. It initially proposed extending its deadline for collecting data to the end of October. 

But now, in an about-face, the Trump administration says it's boosting operations to finish that phase at the end of September, a month early.

The count ultimately impacts how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed, emergency preparedness, and which states will get more U.S. representatives and which states will get less.

Critics are worried a shortened timeline could lead to miscounts in minority groups. A coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups filed an emergency request for the restraining order as part of a lawsuit, which accuses President Trump of purposefully trying to push down the minority population count in order to boost power of the Republican Party.

A court hearing over the matter is set for Sept. 17.