Rep. Titus Leads House Colleagues in Demanding the Census Bureau Follow Court Orders

Oct 1, 2020
Press Release

October 1, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today Representative Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District led 21 of her House Democratic colleagues in demanding that the United States Census Bureau follow federal court orders.

On September 28th, the U.S. Census Bureau announced its intention to stop counting the nation’s residents on October 5th. The following day, a federal judge called that announcement “a violation” of her court order. On September 30th, a federal appeals court rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to block that court order. Census Bureau officials have warned about the consequences of shortening the schedule to count the nation’s citizens.

In a new letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1) and 21 of her colleagues urged the Trump Administration to adhere to the federal court order.

“Census data is used to ensure proper funding for our nation’s hospitals, schools, and roads,” wrote Congresswoman Titus (NV-1) and 21 Members of Congress. “It is also utilized to guarantee that the people of this country have an equal say in electing their Members of Congress and President. A failure to conduct a complete count of all who reside in our nation would be an unconstitutional method of taking resources and representation away from the American people. The executive branch of the federal government must adhere to rulings made by federal courts. Your decision to ignore the orders of the judicial branch is a grotesque abuse of power.”

In addition to Congresswoman Titus, the letter was signed by Reps. Debbie Dingell, Raul Grijalva, Joe Neguse, Peter Welch, Filemon Vela, Joaquin Castro, Sylvia Garcia, Ted W. Lieu, Juan Vargas, Ed Case, James P McGovern, Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Cindy Axne, Grace Meng, Pete Aguilar, Veronica Escobar, Judy Chu, Jim Costa, Tony Cárdenas, and Betty McCollum.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Secretary Ross and Dr. Dillingham:

We write to express our grave concern with the U.S. Census Bureau’s newly announced October 5 deadline for the collection of responses for the decennial census. This declaration is in direct contradiction to a federal court order issued on September 24. The federal injunction states that the shortened schedule ordered by President Trump’s administration would, “result in loss of crucial federal funds for programs that affect daily life.”

Census collection efforts should be focused on reporting accurate results. Experts have warned that abruptly ending collection by the beginning of next week would result in a dramatic undercount of minority and hard-to-reach communities across the country. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters have made reaching these historically undercounted communities even more difficult. The decision to end data collection by the beginning of next week would be especially detrimental to these already underserved populations. 

Census data is used to ensure proper funding for our nation’s hospitals, schools, and roads. It is also utilized to guarantee that the people of this country have an equal say in electing their Members of Congress and President. A failure to conduct a complete count of all who reside in our nation would be an unconstitutional method of taking resources and representation away from the American people.

The executive branch of the federal government must adhere to rulings made by federal courts. Your decision to ignore the orders of the judicial branch is a grotesque abuse of power. Please explain in writing why you have chosen to ignore the law and disregard the order written by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.