Reversing Course, Trump Administration Will Look For a Way To Add Citizenship Question To 2020 Census

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The Justice Department said Wednesday that the government is looking for a way to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, just one day after it said it would drop that effort and was printing the form without it.

The course reversal came just hours after President Trump said he was “absolutely moving forward” with adding the question, in a tweet that seemed to catch government lawyers off guard as they were summoned by two federal judges to explain the administration’s change of heart.

The reversal came during a phone call with a federal judge in Maryland who had ruled against including the question, and, shortly afterward, in a filing to a New York federal judge who had also ruled against the question.

Joseph Hunt, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil division, said the administration was looking for a legal path forward after the Supreme Court last week froze the administration’s plan to include it on the survey sent to every U.S. household and said the administration needed to provide a better justification if it wants to add it.

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