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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at Fox Business Network Studios in New York City in December. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday indicated she may move forward with contempt proceedings after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defied court orders to continue the 2020 Census, Talking Points Memo first reported.

Driving the news: Ross instructed the Census to end its field operations Oct. 5, despite Judge Lucy Koh's preliminary injunction in San Jose, California, last week allowing the head count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October. Koh said Monday Ross was "doing exactly" what she instructed the Trump administration not to in the order, per Bloomberg.

  • Koh's injunction suspended the Census Bureau's deadline for ending the once-in-a-decade count on Sept. 30, reimposing an older Census Bureau proposal to end operations on Oct. 31, according to AP.

Of note: The judge indicated she may look at other ways to hold the government to account, Bloomberg notes.

  • "You don't have to call it contempt," she said. "You can call it something else."
  • The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: The race to finish the 2020 U.S. Census count

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.