Census Citizenship Question Back in Limbo

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Sigh:

A day after pledging that the 2020 census would not ask respondents about their citizenship, the Justice Department reversed course on Wednesday and said it was hunting for a way to restore the question on orders from President Trump. Officials told a federal judge in Maryland that they thought there would be a way to still add the question, despite printing deadlines, and that they would ask the Supreme Court to send the case to district court with instructions to remedy the situation.

Yesterday DOJ lawyers told the judge the forms were being printed without the citizenship question. He asked them to put it in writing. Today they declined to do that.

Were they lying yesterday? Or were they telling the truth and Trump overruled them? And are they now really trying to figure out a way to keep the citizenship question? Or are they just going through the motions to mollify the boss?

Like so many things Trump-related, who the hell knows? It could be anything.

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We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

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