Prof. Justin Levitt's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines
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Nat’l Urban League v. Ross

Last Updated Jan 15, 2021
Case number

No. 5:20-cv-05799 (N.D. Cal.), No. 20-16868 (9th Cir.), No. 20A62 (S. Ct.)

Cycle 2020

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A federal court challenge to the Census Bureau’s decision to end non-response followup operations in Sept. 2020, and to the schedule for delivering apportionment data.  On Sept. 24, 2020, the court preliminarily enjoined a truncated timeline; on Oct. 2, 2020, the court clarified that the injunction required data collection through Oct. 31, 2020, with a plan of reporting the total tabulation by Apr. 30, 2021.  On Oct. 7, 2020, the federal court of appeals denied a request to stay the Oct. 31 extension, but granted the request to stay the Apr. 30, 2021, extension; on Oct. 13, 2020, the Supreme Court stayed the order in its entirety pending appeal.

Data collection operations stopped Oct. 15, 2020.

The fight continues over the processing time and delivery of final data; there are serious concerns about the accuracy of data delivered after a severely truncated processing period.  On Dec. 30, 2020, the Census Bureau announced that it would not be able to deliver decennial apportionment counts by the current statutory deadline of Dec. 31, 2020.  On Jan. 15, 2021, the Census Bureau agreed to refrain from finalizing or publicly releasing any information with respect to decennial apportionment data without at least 7 days’ notice, until at least Feb. 5, 2021; separately, the Bureau stated that it expected apportionment data would not be ready until Mar. 6, 2021.

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