The federal judge overseeing the legal battle surrounding the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census signed a formal order blocking the Trump administration from attempting to add the question, finally putting a concrete end to the long and drawn-out fight over the inclusion.

Judge Jesse Furman signed an order composed by the two parties opposing the question that stops the government “from including a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire; from delaying the process of printing the 2020 decennial census questionnaire after June 30, 2019 for the purpose of including a citizenship question; and from asking persons about citizenship status on the 2020 census questionnaire or otherwise asking a citizenship question as part of the 2020 decennial census.”

The order also states that Furman, who was appointed by Obama, will be able to enforce the terms of the order up until the census’ results are delivered to the president by December 31, 2020.

While Donald Trump announced last week that he was giving up on adding the question to the decennial survey, there have been many false finales to this conflict over the past year, making Furman’s order a sound precaution against the administration suddenly restarting its efforts to include the question.


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The parties arguing against the inclusion in court, including the state of New York and the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a letter filed Tuesday that they had written the order and that the Justice Department “does not oppose” the judge signing it.

Many civil rights groups had been vehemently against the inclusion of the question as it was widely understood that asking about citizenship would scare undocumented immigrants into not filling out the survey altogether, thereby undercounting the populations of Democratic urban centers where these migrants tend to live. Such a misrepresentation would give those states less federal funding and fewer seats in the House of Representatives, artificially strengthening the GOP and skewing the government to less accurately represent the true will and needs of its residents.

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