The Supreme Court Just Allowed the Trump Administration to Suspend the Census

Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post/Zuma

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to abruptly halt the US census, setting aside a lower court order that had extended Census Bureau operations through Oct. 31.

As I wrote in September:

To make up for delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau had initially extended the enumeration period—in which the agency attempts to count every US household that has not already responded to the census on its own—until Oct. 31. But in July, following the Trump administration’s addition of several political appointees to the Census Bureau, the agency announced that it would cut the enumeration period short to Sept. 30, leaving census organizers scrambling to get everyone in their communities counted and adding further confusion to a census that has been riddled with controversy and uncertainty.

In September, a federal court ordered the Census Bureau to continue its enumeration until the original deadline of Oct. 31. The Supreme Court today placed a stay on that ruling, in part because the government has argued that the current enumeration deadline will prevent it from meeting the Dec. 31 statutory deadline for reporting the results of the census to the president.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, writing, “Meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the census is not a cost worth paying, especially when the Government has failed to show why it could not bear the lesser cost of expending more resources to meet the deadline or continuing its prior efforts to seek an extension from Congress.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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