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Supreme Court grants Trump administration's request to halt census count while appeal plays out

The Supreme Court granted a request from the Trump administration to halt the census count while an appeal plays out over a lower court's order that it continue.

Posted: Oct 13, 2020 3:45 PM

The Supreme Court granted a request from the Trump administration to halt the census count while an appeal plays out over a lower court's order that it continue.

The administration had asked the high court for "immediate relief" because a lower court order would have required the census count to continue until October 31. The Trump administration argued that would have prevented Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from delivering a count of the nation's population to President Donald Trump by December 31.

The ruling is a win for the administration, which argued the shortened deadline is necessary to give the Commerce Department enough time to meet the December deadline. The administration noted that the count had been delayed by Covid-19 but that if the time spent counting were shortened, that deadline could still be met.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the order, fearing that the shortened timeline would produce inaccurate results.

"Because the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable, I respectfully dissent from the grant of stay," she wrote.

No other justice noted a dissent.

The decision is likely to fuel fresh scrutiny on the accuracy of the bureau's US population count, which has already been disrupted by the pandemic.

The outbreak hit just as the massive once-a-decade count was getting underway, scrambling the Census Bureau's plans. The agency suspended field operations for a time, although that work eventually resumed in some areas.

The census determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and how billions of dollars in federal funding is spent. Schools, roads and other important things in communities will gain -- or lose -- funding over the next 10 years depending on this official population tally.

And while this year's census has relied more heavily on collecting responses by phone, mail or online, the operation still needs a robust field operation to reach minority communities as well as students on college campuses, seniors in assisted living facilities and people experiencing homelessness.

Not only are these groups at high risk for coronavirus infection, they're also among those most in need of in-person outreach.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 898799

Reported Deaths: 17305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2968216974
Riverside657571279
San Bernardino617261070
Orange580101440
San Diego53928867
Kern33669416
Fresno30471436
Sacramento25094482
Santa Clara23881388
Alameda23133456
San Joaquin21528488
Contra Costa18413240
Stanislaus17509396
Tulare17425284
Ventura14124162
Imperial12700336
San Francisco12032140
Monterey1128487
San Mateo11002159
Santa Barbara9715120
Merced9439154
Sonoma9163134
Kings820183
Solano728674
Marin7045128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo412132
Placer408857
Yolo314458
Butte304652
Santa Cruz275325
Napa192815
Shasta183930
Sutter183712
San Benito143215
El Dorado13084
Yuba129310
Mendocino112121
Tehama8528
Lassen7641
Lake67915
Glenn6523
Nevada6038
Humboldt5619
Colusa5496
Calaveras33917
Amador31716
Tuolumne2624
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1880
Del Norte1781
Mono1762
Mariposa782
Plumas630
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 73°
Oroville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 75°
Paradise
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 73°
Chester
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 65°
Red Bluff
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 75°
Willows
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 73°
Fire danger will be extreme Sunday-Monday as the biggest dry wind event of the season takes shape. A widespread freeze in the Sierra-Cascades as low as single-digit values possible Sunday night. Mild & sunny weather after Tuesday.
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