The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to halt an order compelling Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to answer questions by lawyers for a group of states suing over a Trump administration decision to ask respondents to the 2020 census whether they are citizens.
In a one-sentence order, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied the Trump administration’s request to stay a lower court’s ruling that allowed for the deposition of Ross and another administration official while a federal appeals court in New York reviews the dispute.
But Ginsburg said the government could request the Supreme Court’s intervention after the appeals court rules and “before the depositions in question are taken.”
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan ruled on Sept. 21 that Ross, whose department oversees the Census Bureau, must face a deposition because his “intent and credibility are directly at issue” in the litigation.
The lawsuit, which includes 18 states and a number of cities and counties, was spearheaded by Democratic officials.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census every 10 years, which is used to allocate seats in Congress and state legislatures and distribute billions of dollars in federal funds.
Critics of adding a citizenship question to the census have said it will deter people in immigrant communities from participating in the census, disproportionately affecting Democratic-leaning states.
The Justice Department told the Supreme Court that the states should not be allowed to probe Ross’s “mental state” over the citizenship question, saying that compelling testimony from high-ranking officials is rarely justified.
Reporting by Andrew Chung
Trump’s first term: hits and misses
"Promises made, promises kept," goes one of President Donald Trump's main 2020 reelection slogans. Is that true?
Here are some of the key policy hits and misses -- comparing his accomplishments to his promises -- from a tumultuous first term.
- HITS -
The economy will be Trump's major selling point.
GDP grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and the last recession was a decade ago. Unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent.
Trump's frequent claim that the economy is probably "the best" in US history is an exaggeration, though.
Economists see growing dangers, including exploding government debt and growing backlash from Trump's aggressive trade policies, especially with China.
The racist roots of American policing
But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new.
There are many precedents to the Ferguson, Missouri protests that ushered in the Black Lives Matter movement. Those protests erupted in 2014 after a police officer shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown; the officer was subsequently not indicted.
Ocasio-Cortez: ‘We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) started a petition Saturday seeking to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortions, arguing the restriction overwhelmingly harms low-income Americans and women of color. AOC emailed her supporters:
“Since 1976, our government has banned federal funding for abortion care — specifically, for Medicaid recipients. Countless studies have shown that due to this amendment, millions of women have been forced to go through with pregnancies that, given the funding, they would have otherwise terminated. "