Judge Orders U.S. Government to Complete the 2020 Census

The Trump administration must, for now, stop winding down in-person counting efforts for the 2020 census, a federal judge in California ordered Saturday, while a legal fight over the shortened schedule for the national head count continues.

The temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California comes after challengers led by the National Urban League filed an emergency request as part of a federal lawsuit — both of which cite NPR’s reporting. The order is expected to remain in effect until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17 for the plaintiffs’ request for a court order that would require counting to continue through the end of October.

You can read more in an article by Hansi Lo Wang in the NPR website at: https://n.pr/3362D9U.

3 Comments

David Paul Davenport September 9, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Last March, every household received a post card with a unique pass code to use on the census website when they completed the census online on or about April 1st. No one was excused from doing this. Now, five months later we have addresses that need to be visited in person by census takers who are placing themselves in physical danger by knocking on doors while simultaneously exposing people who live at “non-responsive households” to whatever ailment they may be carrying. It is crazy to allow any face to face census taking. If it isn’t safe to dine-in at restaurants it sure can’t be safe to have a stranger in your home. If people responded online as they should we wouldn’t have to spend even one penny on census takers.

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    Not at all persons have computers or easy access to them, and some may have limited or no knowledge on how to use them. Some people moved from the addresses the government had on record. Others established addresses for the first time. Homeless individuals do not have physical addresses at which they may receive mail. While true that it is not the safest of environments, door to door, there are so few questions on the census that the information may be asked at the door, respecting space. While the circumstances are far from ideal, the task of the census is important.

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David Paul Davenport September 10, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Anne: The USA started the census long before Covid-19 “isolation” began. In fact, until it did I only used the computers at my public library for email, etc (everything except research which I did at my local Family History Center) where they have an “army” of tech people to support use by anyone who enters. It has not been since the shut down of library that I got the internet at home. So no one was precluded from enumerating themselves if the weren’t lazy. You also have a misconception about “who” is contacted by the census – it may require reporting names, but it is NOT based on sending cards to the people who were registered ten years ago. I draw this conclusion because you wrote “Some people moved from the addresses the government had on record. Others established addresses for the first time.” The “invitations” to be included in the 2020 census are sent to addresses, not people. The people at those addresses are then responsible for completing the enumeration so that the number of people can be counted. BTW – WE tend to think the census exists only every ten years. It exists all the time as it regular full-time employees are tasked with the job of adding addresses to the database of physical locations and deleting those that no longer exist (destroyed by fire and not rebuilt – ie Paradise, California). I worked for the Atlanta office of the census in the year before the 1990 census on building the database for Cobb county so I know a thing or two about how what were called “Tiger files” were generated. Back then the census arrived by mail and was returned by mail – computers are more cost effective. BTW – there is no excuse for not knowing how to use a computer. Anyone who can change the channels on a TV has the skill to use a computer.

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