2020 census will be printed without citizenship question: Justice Department

National

FILE – In this June 20, 2019 file photo, the Supreme Court is seen under stormy skies in Washington. Two issues that could determine the distribution of political power for the next decade await resolution on the Supreme Court’s final day of decisions before a long summer break. Chief Justice John Roberts could well be the author of decisions on both politically charged topics Thursday, June 27, whether to allow a citizenship question on the 2020 census and place limits on drawing electoral districts for partisan gain. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(ABC NEWS)– A Justice Department official confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday that plaintiffs in the census case have been informed that the 2020 census will be printed without inclusion of a citizenship question.

On Monday, President Donald Trump said he was still “looking at” the possibility of trying to delay the census from being printed — something multiple legal experts expressed doubt would even be legal.

In an email to plaintiffs of the case today, DOJ trial attorney Kate Bailey told plaintiffs “the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week seemed to leave open the possibility that the administration could make another attempt to add the question, if it provided a different explanation, after Chief Justice John Roberts said the Commerce Department’s initial rationale “seems to have been contrived.”

But the Census Bureau had previously set a target date of early July to begin printing the questionnaire in order to have it prepared for delivery to the American public by the April 1 deadline.

Opponents of the effort had accused the administration of trying to add the question in order to intimidate minorities and shift power to Republicans in future elections.

“I am encouraged that Administration officials dropped President Trump’s unconstitutional plan to postpone the Census just because he lost the Supreme Court case,” House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement reacting to the news. “The Trump Administration put our country through more than a year of wasted time and squandered resources — all in the service of an illegal attempt to add a discriminatory question based on a pretext.”

The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

News 8 will update this story as more information comes in.

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