Census Bureau Reverses Course on Layoffs After Court Order
The Census Bureau told a federal judge on Tuesday that it will delay laying off some census takers and will restore quality-control measures it had already begun winding down as the end of the once-a-decade population count nears its end.
The notice, in a court filing, came two days after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the downsizing until at least Sept. 17.
On that date she’ll hold a hearing on a more permanent injunction requested by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups who want the bureau to abide by its plan for finishing the census in October.
The Census Bureau pushed back ending the count from the end of July to the end of October after a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak. It also asked Congress to extend the deadline for turning in the apportionment numbers from December, as required by law, into next spring.
When the Republican-controlled Senate failed to take up the request, the bureau created a revised schedule that had the census ending in September so it could meet the December deadline.
The agency subsequently announced a new schedule in which it said it planned to end the count at the end of September.
The plaintiffs in the case say they fear a premature end to the count will leave them short changed when the federal government uses the new count to determine how approximately $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed and how many congressional seats each state gets in the upcoming reapportionment.
The Census Bureau’s plan outlining compliance with the order says some quality-control steps that had been eliminated with the changed schedule will be restored.
Those include verifying vacant homes, making extra home visits to households with conflicting information about whether they are vacant and making extra home visits when investigating potential cases of fraud.
The plaintiffs argue the Census Bureau changed the schedule to accommodate a directive from President Donald Trump to exclude people in the country illegally from the numbers used in redrawing congressional districts.
A December deadline for handing in the apportionment numbers means the statistics will still be under the authority of the Trump administration, regardless of who wins the November election.
In The News
RALEIGH, N.C. - Democrats are used to long odds in the Republican controlled legislature, and perhaps that explains why 26 of them have decided to advance a plan to put control of the state’s upcoming redistricting effort in the hands of an independent commission. House Bill... Read More
Bye-bye, Bismarck. So long, Sheboygan. Those cities in North Dakota and Wisconsin, respectively, are two of 144 that the federal government is proposing to downgrade from the metropolitan statistical area designation, and it could be more than just a matter of semantics. Officials in some of... Read More
WASHINGTON - There's no question that the once-every-10-year process of redistricting is off to a slow start. Though the U.S. Census Bureau ended its collection of data for the 2020 census on Oct. 15, 2020, it missed the December statutory deadline for the delivery of apportionment... Read More
The human loss from the coronavirus will not be reflected in the 2020 census because of a matter of timing, which could save a congressional seat for New York but cost Alabama one. Because the start of the pandemic in the U.S. and the April 1... Read More
Attorneys for a coalition of municipalities and advocacy groups that had sued the Trump administration over accuracy concerns about the 2020 census say they're hopeful about reaching an agreement with the new Biden administration as both sides take a more cooperative approach. Attorneys for the coalition... Read More
WASHINGTON - New Census Bureau estimates show 16 states saw population declines last year as the nation experienced its slowest overall growth since the Great Depression, a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis shows. According to the analysis, which first appeared on the Trusts' Stateline Daily, the... Read More