U.S. District Judge George Hazel in Maryland on Wednesday scheduled a last-minute hearing on whether a citizenship question will be included in the U.S. Census. The move came just hours after President Donald Trump said that he may ignore a decision not to print the question.
On Tuesday, a Justice Department spokesperson confirmed that the Census would be printed without the citizenship question. But Trump later called that "fake news" and suggested that he would move forward with the citizenship question.
Soon after, Hazel scheduled a telephonic hearing for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Lawyers for MALDEF, a group of Latino legal advocates, suggested that Trump's tweet was the reason for the hearing.
"The judge on his own has scheduled this hearing," the group said in a statement. "We received no indication as to the reason. However, we are outraged at Trump's tweet. The Census Bureau must immediately move to counteract his statements with the Truth."
Just in: Judge Hazel in Maryland has called for a previously unscheduled telephonic hearing this afternoon accordin… https://t.co/hT0y1CaB1s— Ariane de Vogue (@Ariane de Vogue) 1562174220.0
The judge scheduled today's telephone call with lawyers re: the census citizenship Q case on his own and did *not*… https://t.co/szGRj9xkev— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman) 1562175104.0
The judge will not permit reporters to listen in to this call, per a request just made to chambers (judges in other… https://t.co/8tY4PtDfLi— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman) 1562174620.0
Addendum: From a transparency standpoint, it's not great that there will be back-to-back calls (one yesterday, one… https://t.co/nmnA4bH7YZ— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman) 1562176423.0
If you're curious: Yesterday's call between the judge and lawyers in the Maryland census citizenship Q case was off… https://t.co/xgcbvAGezB— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman) 1562177240.0