Judge stops DOJ from switching lawyers on census lawsuit
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/10/19, 10:38 am
WASHINGTON—A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice could not replace nine lawyers in its ongoing battle to add a question regarding citizenship status to the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said it was too late in the process to make such a drastic change, noting the next deadline for the lawyers to submit written arguments was only days away. “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” he wrote in his ruling. The Justice Department submitted its request for new counsel on Monday.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr had said Monday that several of the lawyers on the Justice Department’s current litigation team had preferred to stop pursing the citizenship question. President Donald Trump and Barr have continued the push for the addition after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked its inclusion in late June.
“So now the Obama appointed judge on the Census case (Are you a Citizen of the United States?) won’t let the Justice Department use the lawyers that it wants to use,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Could this be a first?”
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.