Breaking: DOJ Files Formal Request to Have Supreme Court Leapfrog Second Circuit in Considering Census Citizenship Question Case–A Request the Supreme Court is Very Likely to Grant

Via Chris Geidner, comes this filing from the Department of Justice, seeking review of the district court order keeping the citizenship question off the upcoming census form. The petition seeks to have the Supreme Court immediately review this judgment, rather than the usual step of having it reviewed by the Second Circuit.

I think the Court is almost certainly going to grant this petition, because there needs to be a final ruling by June, when the tens of millions of census forms need to be printed. Even if the petition has a relatively small chance of success on the merits, I still think the Court will take it.

It appears that DOJ is seeking review not only of Judge Furman’s decision that the way the citizenship question got included in the census violated the Administrative Procedure Act as well as other census-related legislation but also of Judge Furman’s discovery rulings. Those latter rulings were put on hold by the Supreme Court, and Judge Furman decided this case without considering the evidence in question. So I expect the Court will only agree to hear the first question presented in the petition, and will also dismiss the earlier case (it was supposed to hear in February, until it removed the case from the calendar) as improvidently granted.

As for the merits, the plaintiffs should win given the strength of Judge Furman’s opinion. But this is a highly charged political case before a partisan-divided Supreme Court, though CJ Roberts is trying to keep the temperature down.

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