On Monday, Attorney General William Barr confirmed that the Justice Department is still looking to cure the complaints of federal judges and include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census.
But as Politico reporter Eliana Johnson noted, even Barr did not seem to have confidence that the administration could do what President Donald Trump wants:
Barr doesn’t sound too optimistic about the inclusion of citizenship question here: Barr said he believes there is “an opportunity potentially to cure the lack of clarity that was the problem and we might as well take a shot at doing that” – https://t.co/xzLUoFGAZE
— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) July 8, 2019
After the Supreme Court refused to reverse lower courts that put the question on hold, and remanded the matter for further review amid extensive evidence that the administration is deliberately trying to rig the census to deny representation and funding to racial minorities, the DOJ initially announced their intention to abandon the issue, but hours later was forced to keep litigating after Trump tweeted that it was “fake news” the administration would no longer pursue it.
The DOJ has since handed off the case to a new team of lawyers, likely a sign that the agency’s career civil servants are unwilling to be associated with it.