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New Court Ruling Keeps Census Count Going, For Now

A pamphlet with 2020 census information written in Spanish is included in a box of food to be distributed by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in Paramount last month. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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A federal appeals court in Northern California has denied the Trump administration's request to temporarily block a lower court order that extends the 2020 census schedule.

The Census Bureau must continue counting as ordered by the lower court for now, according to the new ruling by 9th U.S. Circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson and Judge Morgan Christen, who were part of a three-judge panel. Circuit Judge Patrick Bumatay dissented.

Rawlinson and Christen wrote in their order:

"Given the extraordinary importance of the census, it is imperative that the Bureau conduct the census in a manner that is most likely to produce a workable report in which the public can have confidence. The hasty and unexplained changes to the Bureau's operations contained in the Replan, created in just 4 to 5 days, risks undermining the Bureau's mission."

The move comes amid a complicated legal fight over the timeline for the constitutionally mandated head count, which is expected to be used to determine each state's share of seats in the House of Representatives, Electoral College votes and federal funding for the next decade.
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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.

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