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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday night blocked a federal court order demanding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross face questioning in a lawsuit challenging his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Why it matters: The decision is a major blow to the 18 states suing Ross, which argue that the additional question will discourage both legal and illegal immigrants from participating in the census. The census is used to determine electoral boundaries and the distribution of federal funds.

What's next: The Supreme Court's decision means that the trial in New York, set to begin on Nov. 5, will go forward without Ross’ deposition. However, the justices declined to halt the deposition for the acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, John Gore, and ordered that the administration hand over more documents related to the issue.

The backdrop: Ross has recently changed his explanation for adding the question. He initially told a congressional committee that he had only talked with officials at the DOJ to determine the question's legality, but he recently said that Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, also played a role in his decision.

Go deeper

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.