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Judge to Census Lawyers: Nope, You Can't Quit

Judge blocks Justice Department from switching legal teams
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
In this June 27, 2019, file photo, demonstrators gather at the Supreme Court as the justices finish the term with a key decision on a census case involving an attempt by the Trump administration to ask...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A New York judge says the Justice Department can't change lawyers so late in the dispute over whether to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, the AP reports. Judge Jesse Furman ruled Tuesday, saying lawyers must cite satisfactory reasons for withdrawing. Furman said the urgency to resolve legal claims in the case and the need for efficient judicial proceedings had only grown. The Justice Department sought to change its lawyers after the Supreme Court barred the inclusion of the question, at least temporarily.

The decision last week by the Justice Department also came after an embarrassing episode in which lawyers seemed to be giving up the legal fight as President Trump insisted he was doubling down to include the question on the census. The Justice Department did not immediately comment. (Also Tuesday, the attorney general said the Trump administration found a way to ask the citizenship question.)


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