DOJ bid to switch legal teams blocked by another Census case judge

The Department of Justice's plan to switch legal teams in its attempt to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census was rejected by a second judge on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The order handed down by U.S. District Judge George Hazel, who's presiding over a challenge to the Trump administration’s plan in Maryland, is yet another blow for the Trump administration as it pushes to include the question in the 2020 Census.

The big picture: A federal judge in New York ruled on Tuesday the DOJ couldn't switch legal teams without providing "satisfactory reasons" to do so.

  • Hazel said the department could refile its motion if it provides "satisfactory reasons" for the attorney switch and gives assurances of an orderly transition between the legal teams, with the attorneys who worked on the case earlier available on request.

Go deeper: Trump publicly weighs executive order on citizenship question

What's next

House to vote on criminal contempt charges for Barr and Ross

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will vote next week on criminal contempt charges against Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over their failure to cooperate with a subpoena for documents related to the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census, Politico reports.

The state of play: Although the vote will serve as a good talking point for Democrats, it's exceedingly unlikely the Justice Department will take any action against two Trump administration officials.

Go deeper: DOJ bid to switch legal teams blocked by another Census case judge

House votes to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt

Wilbur Ross looks on as William Barr delivers remarks on citizenship and the 2020 Census on July 11. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The House voted 230-198 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress on Wednesday for withholding subpoenaed materials related to the failed 2020 Census citizenship question.

Why it matters: Democrats believe the administration's reason for attempting to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is "a cover for a politically motivated attempt to eliminate noncitizens from population statistics ... [thereby] diminishing Democratic power," the NYT reports. Wednesday's vote follows a House Oversight Committee decision last month.

Go deeperArrowJul 17, 2019 - Politics

Democratic state AGs are leading the Resistance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State attorneys general have become some of the most powerful forces fighting the Trump White House — pushing back against its agenda on hot topics like immigration, energy, health care and more.

Why it matters: With little legislative action happening in Congress, the executive branch has taken into its own hands implementing the White House agenda. Those efforts have been increasingly challenged by attorneys general — usually Democrats — and some have been blocked by the courts.

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019 - Politics