Harris County To Challenge Early Census Cutoff

Harris County Commissioners voted to file a friend of the court brief against the Trump administration’s move to end the Census count on September 30 instead of October 31


Harris County Commissioners Court


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Harris County could soon weigh in on a national controversy over the Census.

Harris County Commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to have the County Attorney file a friend of the court brief in an expected lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's early cutoff date of Sept. 30.

County leaders have been concerned for months over a possible undercount in the Census, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such an undercount could wind up costing the county federal funding.

By the end of July, just half of all Houston households had filled out the questionnaire.

The brief would join other counties and states that have challenged the Trump Administration’s push to place a citizenship question on the census form.

“The same group of counties and states that are challenging the notion that non-citizens will not be counted when we reapportion congressional districts has been discussing the idea of challenging this particular action," said First Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard.

Additional reporting by Paul DeBenedetto

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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