A Justice Department attorney said Monday that the census population count used to apportion House seats for the next decade may not be ready until February, which would thwart President Donald Trump’s plans to exclude certain immigrant populations from the total.
John Coghlan, a deputy assistant attorney general who is representing the government in the case, said that as of late December, the Census Bureau did not expect to be able to release apportionment data until Feb. 9, well after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
The Justice Department also said that date could be pushed back further yet because of potential new anomalies discovered within the data.
A delivery date after noon on Jan. 20, once Biden is sworn in, would effectively end Trump’s attempts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the total. Biden has said he opposed the plan, and historically those people have been included in the count.