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Trump administration must turn over information about 2020 census question

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A federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Donald Trump’s administration to hand information about its plan to ask people filling out the 2020 census form whether they are U.S. citizens over to a group of states and cities suing the administration over the question.

At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman also said he would likely deny the administration’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs have said that the census question could lead to undercounting in states with large immigrant populations, jeopardizing their political representation and access to federal funds.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, whose office has taken a leading role in the case, called the ruling a “major win” in a statement.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the Census Bureau, said the agency was disappointed with the ruling but “confident that the plaintiffs’ case is without merit, that any allegations of bad faith are specious, and that we will prevail in court.”

The lawsuit was filed in April by 17 states, including New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois, and six cities, including New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago. All of the states have Democratic attorneys general and all of the cities have Democratic mayors.

Brett Shumate, a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice representing the Republican administration, said at the hearing that the case should be dismissed because only Congress, not courts, had the authority to review census questions.

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When Furman asked whether that would hold true even if a question was intended to undercount states that tend to support a particular political party, Shumate said it would.

“It wouldn’t matter what the intent was behind the question,” he said.

Ajay Saini, a lawyer in Underwood’s office arguing for the plaintiffs, said the citizenship question was at odds with the Census Bureau’s legal mandate to get an accurate count of people living in the United States.

He said “unprecedented levels of immigrant anxiety” in the current political climate would deter immigrants from responding to the census.

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The U.S. Constitution mandates a decennial census, which is used to determine the drawing of political boundaries, the allocation of seats in Congress and at the state and local level, and the annual distribution of about $700 billion of federal funds.

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Bill Trott

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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White House either lied or there was ‘gross mismanagement’ for not knowing Shanahan’s past: David Gergen

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On Tuesday, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan withdrew his nomination as new details came to life about a violent series of domestic disputes within his family, including an incident in which he defended his son for assaulting his wife with a baseball bat.

Former White House official David Gergen scorned the idea that the White House and Senate Republicans were not aware of this information, noting that Shanahan was already confirmed to a high-ranking office in the Pentagon and would have already undergone a rigorous FBI background check.

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Nancy Pelosi says White House attempt to block Hope Hicks testimony is ‘obstruction of justice’

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Nancy Pelosi clap

President Donald Trump's White House is committing obstruction of justice by claiming Hope Hicks has "immunity" from testifying before Congress about her time in the administration and even transition.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked about the administration's contention by CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju.

Pelosi replied that it was, "obstruction of justice."

The answer could be important as Congressional precedence says that obstruction of justice is a high crime or misdemeanor worthy of impeachment.

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Ocasio-Cortez dunks on Liz Cheney again for using Nazi language to defend Trump: ‘Enjoy defending concentration camps’

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Dick Cheney's daughter continued to receive ferocious backlash after she falsely claimed that Donald Trump's tent cities are not "concentration camps."

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) demanded Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) learn history -- while revealing she knew little -- during a Twitter outburst.

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are. … ‘Never Again’ means something ... we need to do something about it," Ocasio-Cortez noted.

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