PELOSI: Census Citizenship Question an Attempt to 'Make America White Again'

PELOSI: Census Citizenship Question an Attempt to 'Make America White Again'

A federal judge in NY blocked the Justice Department on Tuesday from replacing nearly all of the lawyers defending the Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, saying the government had not offered adequate reasoning for why it wanted new counsel.

After a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama ruled against him in the 2020 census case, President Donald Trump issued a sharp critique questioning whether there was a precedent for the move.

"Defendants provide no reasons, let alone 'satisfactory reasons, ' for the substitution of counsel", Furman said, calling the request "patently deficient".

Justice Department attorneys working on the case reportedly pushed to get off the assignment, citing frustration with how the case was handled, the Washington Post reports.

Furman said the government could re-submit its request to replace attorneys only with a sworn statement by each lawyer explaining satisfactory reasons to withdraw so late.

The new team came about after a top Justice Department civil attorney who was leading the litigation effort told Attorney General William Barr that multiple people on the team preferred not to continue, Barr told The Associated Press on Monday. He said the government has the right to ask a citizenship question, but it needs to provide an appropriate explanation for adding such a question.

The administration says the question would help enforce the Voting Rights Act by protecting minorities' right to vote.

But President Trump later said he had ordered the departments to do "whatever necessary" to include the question, and pushed back against the notion that his administration had abandoned plans to do so.

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Furman said the urgency to resolve legal claims in the case and the need for efficient judicial proceedings had only grown.

The Justice Department then notified judges in three similar legal challenges that it planned to find a new legal path to adding the question to the census. It also hinted at the possibility that administration officials feared the lawyers would no longer be viewed as credible by judges presiding over the cases.

Furman's order is a procedural denial.

'They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted...'

The Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, initially said last week that printing of census forms that did not include the question had already begun. "We won't rest until we know the truth".

President Trump has been "very seriously" considering an executive order to try to force the inclusion of a citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census.

Serrano said he has "no intention of allowing this flagrant waste of money", urging Trump to give up his fight to add a question about citizenship.

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