Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to stay a lower court's decision so it can end the 2020 census early.
The administration asked the Supreme Court in an emergency request on Wednesday to intervene and award it "immediate relief" to allow it to end head counting in the decennial effort after an appeals court ruled earlier in the day for it would keep knocking on doors until Oct. 31.
In the request, the acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said if they continue the effort until Halloween the Census Bureau will fail to report its finding to President Donald Trump by the statutory deadline of Dec. 31.
"Every passing day exacerbates the serious risk that the district court's order to continue field operations and delay post processing will make it impossible for the Bureau to comply with the December 31 statutory reporting deadline," acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote in the court document.
The request was filed hours after the three-panel judge of the Ninth Circuit Court rejected an appeal from the Trump administration concerning a lower court's ruling against its efforts to truncate the census schedule.
The panel ruled that predictions over whether the Census Bureau will be able to attain the deadline three months away "are speculative and unstable" and that it failed to make a "strong showing" as to why it should overturn the lower court's stay.
The once-a-decade count of every person in the country began on Jan. 21, but door-knocking efforts were suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, pushing its deadline from end of July to Oct. 31.
In early August, the Census Bureau announced head counting would end at the end of September, attracting a legal challenge from the National Urban League who argued on behalf of a coalition of groups that the shortened schedule would negatively impact minorities as an inaccurate count of their communities could skew seat allocation in the U.S. House of Representatives and federal funding.
Late last month, Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California issued an injunction forcing the Trump administration to continue the headcount until Oct. 31.