THE NEW YORK TIMES – The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to halt the 2020 census count ahead of schedule, effectively shutting down what has been the most contentious and litigated census in memory and setting the stage for a bitter fight over how to use its numbers for the apportionment of the next Congress.

The brief unsigned order formally only pauses the population count while the administration and a host of groups advocating a more accurate census battle in a federal appeals court over whether the count could be stopped early.

As a practical matter, however, it almost certainly ensures an early end because the census — one of the largest government activities, involving hundreds of thousands of workers — cannot be easily restarted and little time remains before its current deadline at the end of this month. In fact, some census workers say, the bureau had already begun shutting down some parts of its count despite a court order to continue it.

The census has been buffeted both by the coronavirus pandemic and the involvement of the Trump administration in what has traditionally been a rigorously nonpartisan, data-driven exercise. Its early end could mean that White House officials, rather than Census Bureau experts, may use the population numbers to determine representation in the House of Representatives and in state and local governments.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read the full story by New York Times reporters Adam Liptak and Michael Wines.


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