On Friday, after President Donald Trump’s Justice Department indicated they will continue to pursue rigging the 2020 Census to interrogate people about citizenship despite the Supreme Court’s rejection, Judge George Hazel of the District of Maryland made good on his prior threats and ordered discovery to take place, so that defendants can search the administration’s records for evidence of discriminatory intent.
Law professor Neal Katyal called the speed at which Judge Hazel ruled against the Trump administration “almost unheard of” — but that the administration had only itself to blame for the situation:
Federal judge not buying Trump Admin shenanigans on census. Discovery into discriminatory intent will now take place. It’s almost unheard of for the federal govt to get slapped down this fast, this decisively. But it’s entirely deserved when Admin treats our judiciary this way https://t.co/p6pBjToKOQ
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) July 5, 2019
The Supreme Court refused to lift a lower court ruling blocking the administration from asking about citizenship in light of growing evidence that officials lied to the public and to Congress about the purpose of the change. Originally billed as a means to ensure enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, documents suggest the administration hoped the change would depress response rates among the nonwhite population, denying them representation and federal funding.