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After Justice Dept. plea, Supreme Court yet to decide census case

By Nicholas Sakelaris
After Justice Dept. plea, Supreme Court yet to decide census case
New citizens of the United States applaud during a special naturalization ceremony at the Stephen A. Schwarzmann Building of the New York Public Library in New York City on July 3, 2018. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- One day after the Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on its proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, justices did not immediately issue a decision Friday on the divisive case.

The question is being pushed by the administration, it says, to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. Critics believe the move is designed to identify undocumented migrants in the United States, who traditionally vote Democratic, and will lead to a highly inaccurate count.

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Thursday, the Justice Department asked the court to expedite its decision so the government can begin printing materials for next year's census, which it must begin doing July 1.

Attorneys on both sides of the issue argued before the high court in April. The case was not among the opinions issued early Friday. Three lower court judges, however, have already blocked the administration's plan -- including a Maryland judge who said Wednesday the issue needs more consideration, based on new potential evidence.

RELATED Judge in census citizenship case says new evidence 'raises a substantial issue'

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union asked the Supreme Court to delay its decision until a lower court can review the new evidence.

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After Friday, the high court will next issue an order list on Monday.

The constitutionally mandated census requires a head count of the United States population every ten years, regardless of citizenship status. An undercount in a border state like Texas, which has a strong Hispanic population, could reduce its number of representatives in Congress and cut federal funding.

RELATED ACLU asks Supreme Court to delay ruling on census citizenship question

RELATED House oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt for defying subpoena

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