Monthly Archives: March 2020

Too soon for Census Bureau to stop counting, judge rules

ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Census Bureau for the time being to stop following a plan that would have had it winding down operations in order to finish the 2020 census at the end of September.

The federal judge in San Jose late Saturday issued a temporary restraining order against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department, which oversees the agency. The order stops the Census Bureau from winding down operations until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17.

The once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident helps determine how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed and how many congressional seats each state gets in a process known as apportionment.

The temporary restraining order was requested by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups that had sued the Census Bureau, demanding it restore its previous plan for finishing the census at the end of October, instead of using a revised plan to end operations at the end of September. The coalition had argued the earlier deadline would cause the Census Bureau to overlook minority communities in the census, leading to an inaccurate count.

In her order, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote that previous court cases had concluded that it’s in the public interest that Congress be fairly apportioned and that the federal funds be distributed using an accurate census.

“Thus, the balance of the hardships and public interest tip sharply in Plaintiffs’ favor,” Koh said.

In a message emailed to regional offices and headquarters, the Census Bureau said the statistical agency and the Commerce Department “are obligated to comply with the Court’s Order and are taking immediate steps to do so.” Further guidance would be provided later, the bureau said.

Boris Johnson: Britain will move on if there’s no Brexit deal

If London and Brussels don’t reach a deal by October, the U.K. will be ready to accept this and “move on,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to say Monday.

The two sides aim to agree a deal on trade and future relations by the time of an October 15 meeting of EU leaders so that the agreement can be ready by the time the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free-trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” Johnson will say Monday, according to a statement released to the press ahead of this week’s round of negotiations, which begins Tuesday in London.

“We will then have a trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s,” Johnson added. “I want to be absolutely clear that, as we have said right from the start, that would be a good outcome for the U.K. As a government we are preparing, at our borders and at our ports, to be ready for it.”

He also reiterated his call for the EU to offer the U.K. a trade deal similar to the one it has with Canada. The EU has countered, however, that given the U.K.’s geographical proximity and close ties with the bloc, such a deal is not possible.

“Even at this late stage, if the EU are ready to rethink their current positions and agree this I will be delighted,” Johnson said. “But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it.”

The future relationship negotiations have hit deadlock as neither the EU nor the U.K. want to give in on state aid or fisheries — the two biggest sticking points preventing them from signing a deal. The prior round of talks ended in Brussels with almost no progress, boosting pessimism on both sides of the Channel.