Attorney General Bill Barr (R) and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross with President Trump. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Attorney General Bill Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for refusing to comply with subpoenas for documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. 

Why it matters: The White House had previously claimed its aides were "absolutely immune" from congressional subpoenas. On Monday, a federal judge ruled former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under subpoena in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, giving House Democrats a stronger hand to enforce its other oversight requests.

The backdrop: The House voted 230-198 in July to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt for withholding subpoenaed materials. Democrats believe the administration's reason for attempting to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census was a cover for a politically motivated effort to diminish the electoral power of Democrats by eliminating non-citizens from population statistics.

President Trump ultimately caved on adding the citizenship question in July, stunning figures in the conservative legal community after he publicly weighed an executive order to push the question forward.

  • The Supreme Court had ruled that the Trump administration can't add a citizenship question to the Census unless it does a better job of explaining why the question is necessary.
  • A 2015 study conducted by a now-deceased GOP gerrymandering strategist concluded that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census would "clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats" and "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites," according to court documents filed in a legal challenge.

Go deeper: Judge rules McGahn must comply with House impeachment subpoena

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The 53 countries supporting China's crackdown on Hong Kong

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Rolex/Pool/Getty Images

China's foreign ministry and state media have declared victory after 53 countries joined a statement at the UN Human Rights Council supporting Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong — compared to 27 who criticized the law.

The big picture: The list of 53 countries was not initially published along with the statement, but has been obtained by Axios. It is made up primarily of autocratic states, including North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Zimbabwe.

CO2 emissions may have peaked, but that's not enough

Reproduced from DNV GL; Chart: Axios Visuals

More analysts are making the case that COVID-19 could be an inflection point for oil use and carbon emissions, but it's hardly one that puts the world on a sustainable ecological path.

Driving the news: The risk advisory firm DNV GL, citing the pandemic's long-term effects on energy consumption, projects in a new analysis that global CO2 emissions "most likely" peaked in 2019.

U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, according to government data released Thursday.

The state of play: While the labor market showed more signs of recovery when the government’s survey period ended in early June, the lag means that more recent developments, like the surge in coronavirus cases and resultant closures in some states, aren't captured in this data.