UPDATED 7:06 AM PT – Wednesday, July 10, 2019
A federal judge has blocked the Department of Justice’s attempt to swap its lawyers as it works on getting the citizenship question on the 2020 census. A New York judge made the decision Tuesday, saying the request is “patently deficient.”
On Sunday, the Justice Department announced it would be replacing its legal team defending the inclusion of the citizenship question. This move followed a Supreme Court ruling last week that didn’t explicitly shut down the question, but left the door open for the Department to make its case again.
The Justice Department appears to be gearing up for another fight before the court, but President Trump said he’s looking at other avenues to get the question on the 2020 census.
“We could also add an addition on, so we could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision,” the president told reporters. “So we are working a lot of things, including an executive order.”
The judge, however, did allow two lawyers who already left the Justice Department to be removed from the department’s team, but rejected the claims for other attorneys. The judge also signaled he is considering pending sanctions motions against the plaintiffs for future withdrawal motions.