Uncertainty over the timing of congressional apportionment increased Monday, as government lawyers told a federal judge the Census Bureau’s new internal target date for finalizing state population counts is March 6.
At a similar check-in with Koh last week in the case, lawyers defending the commerce secretary, the census director and their agencies said that the latest goal had been Feb. 9, but probably would be later. The bureau has already missed the legal deadline of Dec. 31 to finish processing and tabulating the first round of numbers that determine how many seats in the U.S. House of Representatives each state will have for the next decade.
The Trump administration had been pushing the Census Bureau to deliver state population counts and a tally of undocumented immigrants to the president by late December or early January so he could implement his plan to exclude them from apportionment. But in recent weeks, the bureau has discovered anomalies in the data that have repeatedly pushed the target date for delivery further back.