Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday rejected a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to temporarily block an order requiring Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and another official to sit for a deposition in lawsuits challenging their decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The DOJ has also asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to quash Ross’s deposition. Ginsburg is letting that request, which is scheduled to be reviewed on Oct. 9, play out first.
“The application is denied without prejudice, provided that the Court of Appeals will afford sufficient time for either party to seek relief in this court before the depositions in question are taken,” the court’s public information office said.
But in his request to Ginsburg earlier this week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said there will be little or no time for the parties and the Supreme Court to act before Ross’s Oct. 11 deposition if the 2nd Circuit Court denies their request.
The appeals court has already denied a request to keep John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, from having to be deposed.
The ruling the DOJ is appealing came from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in two lawsuits that have been challenging the citizenship question.
The lawsuits allege that a citizenship question on the census would deter immigrants from participating, consequently decreasing federal funding to historically Democratic states.
Dale Ho, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the immigrants’ rights groups challenging the rule, trolled the administration on Twitter after Ginsburg’s decision was announced.
“Not tired of winning yet,” he tweeted.
The Department of Justice declined to comment.
BY LYDIA WHEELER – 10/05/18