Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

  • The judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction in the case.
  • Experts believed that the shortened census, which was already delayed for months amid the coronavirus pandemic, would lead to undercounts nationwide, especially in low-income and remote areas that have been slower to respond.

The big picture: The administration had argued that the speedup was necessary in order to meet a Dec. 31 deadline that would have seen census data turned over to the federal government to begin processing congressional allocations.

Read the ruling.

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