Judge Blocks DOJ Request To Switch Lawyers In Census Citizenship Case

Chairman Jose Serrano D-N.Y. conducts a House Appropriations Commerce Justice Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Serrano said Tuesday he will oppose efforts by the Trump administration to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census surv

Attorney General William Barr said on Monday that he believes the White House can legally add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census, although the Supreme Court ruled against the inclusion of such a question last month.

"I think it does provide a pathway for getting the question on the census", Barr said.

"Defendants provide no reasons, let alone 'satisfactory reasons, ' for the substitution of counsel", Furman said, calling the request "patently deficient". As The Post's report notes, the legal team that was to be replaced specializes in this subject; the team that would have replaced it is more of a "truly random assortment", according to Justin Levitt, who worked on such issues in the Obama Justice Department.

Furman said the government could re-submit its request to replace attorneys only with a sworn statement by each lawyer explaining satisfactory reasons to withdraw so late.

The administration says the question would help enforce the Voting Rights Act by protecting minorities' right to vote.

"If anything, that urgency - and the need for efficient judicial proceedings - has only grown since that time", Furman said. It also hinted at the possibility that administration officials feared the lawyers would no longer be viewed as credible by judges presiding over the cases. But "we'd like to withdraw because we can not make the unprincipled arguments coming next" isn't the rationale the DOJ wants to put on paper no matter how honest it might be.

British US ambassador Darroch resigns over emails criticising Trump
It was also clear that, despite the Foreign Office's protestations, Trump was determined to blackball Sir Kim. Speaking anonymously, another diplomat who's now serving told the Times "it could have been any of us".

As I wrote after the Justice Department first announced the lawyer swap, there were two likely explanations for the attempted lawyer change, which came after the Trump administration lost in the Supreme Court, admitted defeat in court and then reversed course.

An ACLU official said in response to Furman's order that the department "owes the public and the courts an explanation for its unprecedented substitution of the entire legal team".

The Department of Justice said on July 7 that it was shifting legal teams.

Furman's refusal came in a case that has proceeded on an unusual legal path since numerous states and municipalities across the country challenged the government's announcement early a year ago that it meant to add the citizenship question to the census for the first time since 1950.

Serrano said he has "no intention of allowing this flagrant waste of money", urging Trump to give up his fight to add a question about citizenship.

Evidence has also emerged that suggests adding the question may be part of a Republican effort to try and redistrict communities that would generally swing Democratic, hoping the citizenship question would lead to an undercount in Hispanic populations.

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