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2020 Census Must Continue To October 31, Judge Clarifies

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(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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When U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California ordered the Trump administration to continue the census past Sept. 30, she didn’t mean only five days past it.

But on Monday this week, the Census Bureau released a single-sentence tweet identifying Oct. 5 as a new deadline.

That's not going to happen. Today Judge Koh called the government's decision an egregious violation of her order from last week. So now, the judge is making herself clear: the counting must continue through October 31, just like the Census Bureau had previously planned.

Judge Koh is ordering the Census Bureau to text its employees today informing them about the extension. Once those texts are sent, she wants to see proof filed with the court.

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The judge is presiding over a lawsuit brought by plaintiffs that include the City of Los Angeles against the Trump administration, which last month abruptly moved the census end date up to the end of September. The city has argued that ending the census early would lead to an undercount, especially in L.A.'s many hard-to-count communities.

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What's at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census? Billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like Medi-Cal, for public education, even disaster planning. Political representation in Sacramento and D.C. A census undercount could cut critical resources in L.A. County, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation.