Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to delay a trial set for Monday in New York City that will examine the legality of the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Why it matters: This is a significant victory for the 18 states and a handful of cities and advocacy groups challenging the census question. Solicitor General Noel Francisco on Monday sought the high court’s intervention after a Manhattan federal judge and an appeals court last week both refused to postpone the trial. 

The Supreme Court declined the Trump administration's request without comment. In the filing, "Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would grant the application" to delay the trial. The hearing will proceed November 5 and the plaintiffs released who they plan on questioning that day.

The context: The lawsuit, one of six challenging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' decision to ask census respondents about their citizenship status, argues that the move is politically motivated. Critics of Ross' decision argue that non-citizens and undocumented immigrants might decline to participate, and that it would undermine the accuracy of the census, which is used to determine electoral boundaries and the distribution of federal funds among states. 

The administration, however, argues that adding the question would better enable the Justice Department to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.