Updated Jul 9, 2019

Census case judge blocks DOJ bid to switch legal teams

President Donald Trump chairs a meeting with administration and state officials on prison reform at the Trump National Golf Club August 9.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge hearing lawsuits in New York concerning the Trump administration's attempt to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census said Tuesday it can't switch legal teams without providing "satisfactory reasons" to do so.

Why it matters: It's another blow for the Trump administration as it pushes to include the question in the 2020 Census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman wrote in a court order that the Justice Department's attorney switch plan was "patently deficient."

What he's saying: President Trump went after Furman as he tweeted his frustration at the order.

"So now the Obama appointed judge on the Census case (Are you a Citizen of the United States?) won’t let the Justice Department use the lawyers that it wants to use. Could this be a first?"

The big picture: The order does not entirely prevent the Trump administration from switching legal teams. Furman said any new motions to withdraw must be "supported by a signed and sworn affidavit from each counsel seeking to withdraw" and satisfactory reasons for doing so and to honor any future mandated appearances or court sanctions.

This article has been updated to include Trump's remarks.

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