Today the US Supreme Court sided with President Trump against a coalition of activist groups, tribal and state governments that had argued that the Census should not be allowed to end operations until they give it permission to do so.
In a replay of the 2000 Bush vs Gore case, some of the groups had demanded the census be required to not just keep counting to continuously recount people already counted until the agency reached a population number the groups were satisfied. In the 2000 Gore vs Bush case the Democratic Party had been demanding that ballots keep getting recounted, for the rest of the year if necessary they said, until they came out on top. Ruling on the case, the US Supreme Court said that by doing so the Democratic Party was violating the rights of Americans who had voted for an agenda that differed from that of the Democratic Party's.
Today's decision over turns a decision by a liberal California judge who is a prime Democratic party judges. Most mainstream media outlets were tight lipped about the development after telling their readers and viewers that Trump was going to lose at the Supreme Court on the matter.
The unsigned order allows Trump to pause the census until the court can decide the full case.
This year's census has been heavily impacted by the COVID 19 epidemic with many people refusing to interact with enumerators and some enumerators freaking out and quitting their census jobs because they were afraid of getting COVID 19 from the people the job required them to personally interact with. The Census Bureau provided its employees with appropriate training and safety equipment to protect themselves during the pandemic.
Now that it is shutting down, there will be no way to restart it before the deadline for hte numbers to given to Congress and new districts drawn.
In some parts of the country where the Bureau had already reached a 100% completion rate, the census was reported to be shutting down operations there and sending those workers to other parts of the US to help with the counts in other states and communities where the pandemic had stymied the agency's ability to recruit enough workers for those areas.
Some census employees out of California were sent to other states, some were sent to the southeastern United States where many had never been before. One census worker who was sent to work in what was once the Confederate States of America, said she was experiencing culture shock because everything was very different there from the way it is California. Another worker remarked that he'd "never seen so many white people before." That was echoed by workers who were sent to the Midwest and Rust Belt states. Many said that in many of the places in the states they were sent to, Whites seemed to outnumber non Whites by at least 25 to 1. The final data release will tell us how accurate that observation is.
The other issue that stymied this year's census was the continuous political inteference from the Trump administration which at first tried to include a citizenship question, falsely or ignorantly claiming a citizenship would tell them how many illegals were in the US. Citizenship status actually does not tell you everyone who is in the US legally because it would have excluded all non citizens including those who are here on visas and refugees. More recently Trump wants to exclude illegals from the count which would be hard even if the courts agreed with his decision to do so since the census has never asked about immigration status.
Attorney's for the plaintiff's against Trump's efforts criticized the decision saying it would inflate the numbers of Whites at the expense of the "more populous minorities". But based on testimony from some agency employees, the White's higher numbers may not be the result of inflated numbers and indeed, without census employees, many who are people of color themselves, being willing to go other parts of the US to help with the count, many Whites themselves would have been undercounted. An estimated 65% of Whites in some states had not responded to the Census prior to the follow up process.
Usually it takes at least a couple days for a Supreme Court decision to start having an happening, but within minutes of the Supreme Court issuing its order siding with Trump, many employees of the Census Bureau began receiving lay off services thanking them for the work they had done and telling them the census was now over and their services were no longer required. Enumerators were the first to get the notices.
It is believed by some experts that the sudden end to the census will hurt the Democrats but that actually has not been proven in reality yet. It won't be proven until the final numbers are released.
The decision is not final however and only pauses the census until the case can work its way through the full appeals process but by the time the Court hears actual arguments in the case it will have become mute.