The Trump administration on Monday asked the Supreme Court to block the trial over including a “citizenship question” on the 2020 census. The trial is scheduled for November 5.
Last month the district court ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore to give depositions on the inclusion of the citizenship question. The district court had concluded that there was a “bad faith” determination by the government to implement the citizenship question and wanted to get information about the policy change. Traditionally only information recorded during the regulation design process is required in explaining the new rule.
Earlier this month the Supreme Court blocked Ross’ deposition but allowed Gore’s to proceed. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented on that point. They would have the official record be the only material examined during the trial.
The government was given a deadline of October 29 to apply for an additional stay or petition for writ of certiorari on the Ross deposition. The government requested that the trial be stayed altogether. The government argues that the two factors required for a stay are present and that the district court erred in their judgment: “(1) a fair prospect that the majority of the Court would grant mandamus and (2) a likelihood of irreparable harm will result from the denial of a stay.”