We are beginning to get little windows into the internal governmental process involved in the reversal-of-course on the Census issue. As expected, the DOJ lawyers concluded that the issue was over, because there was not enough time left to generate a valid alternative option. This is from the WSJ story:
Almost from the moment the Supreme Court ruled, Justice Department lawyers figured the administration would have no choice: The census would have to be printed without the citizenship question, people familiar with the matter said. That is because the deadline to print was just days away, and officials knew there would not be time to successfully push for some other outcome, according to the people, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s deliberations.
If this reporting is accurate, the Attorney General apparently agreed with this view:
A Trump adviser who regularly speaks to the president said Trump was frustrated after government lawyers determined there was no way to win the case and released statements yesterday saying the battle was over. The adviser said Attorney General William P. Barr had agreed and recently confirmed this to the president.
Meanwhile, the Census forms are already being printed. That’s what the government told the District Court yesterday:
On July 2, 2019, counsel for Defendants sent an email communication to counsel for Plaintiffs confirming that the questionnaire for the 2020 Decennial Census had been sent to the printer, without a question inquiring about respondents’ citizenship status, and that the process of printing the questionnaires had started. ECF No. 610-3. That representation was based on the information undersigned counsel had at the time, and it remains undersigned counsel’s understanding that the process of printing the questionnaires, without the citizenship question, continues. (emphasis added)