In the latest debacle over the decennial enumeration, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to halt all census counting efforts on Thursday, October 15, two weeks before the deadline.
The high court on Tuesday, October 13 approved the administration’s request to suspend a lower court’s order that extended the census’ deadline to the end of the month.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only dissenter, saying that “the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable.”
“And respondents will suffer their lasting impact for at least the next 10 years,” she added.
This comes after a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the administration’s request and said that the count should continue until October 31.
Following the ruling on Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a statement, saying that the option to self respond online would be available through October 15, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time at www.2020census.gov.
“As of [Tuesday], well over 99.9% of housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 Census. Self-response and field data collection operations for the 2020 Census will conclude on October 15, 2020,” the bureau said.
The phone response option was also made available through Thursday, while paper responses have to be postmarked by that date. Meanwhile, nonresponse follow-up census takers will finish enumeration efforts by the new deadline.
The administration argued that in order to meet the deadline of Dec. 31 to submit the data to the president, the data collection would need to end immediately.
The census count determines how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and how federal funds are distributed to communities for services from medical services to after-school programs.