Trump to hold news conference on controversial citizenship question on 2020 Census

  • President Donald Trump tweeted that he will hold a news conference later in the day on his administration's efforts to place a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

    President Donald Trump tweeted that he will hold a news conference later in the day on his administration's efforts to place a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/11/2019 10:13 AM

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will hold a news conference later in the day on his administration's efforts to place a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The event in the Rose Garden comes as Trump mulls using an executive order to accomplish a goal that has been stymied by court rulings.

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In a morning tweet, Trump noted that he is planning a summit on social media at the White House in the afternoon. He is scheduled to speak at that event at 2:45 p.m.

"At its conclusion, we will all go to the beautiful Rose Garden for a News Conference on the Census and Citizenship," he wrote.

White House officials did not immediately confirm Thursday morning that Trump would announce an executive order at the Rose Garden event -- a move he has telegraphed for days.

The Supreme Court has called the administration's rationale for the question "contrived" and said the government could not go forward without a solid justification.

Speaking to reporters at the White House last week, Trump said the question was needed "for many reasons."

He raised the possibility that some kind of addendum could be printed separately after further litigation of the issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We'll see what happens," Trump said. "We could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision. So we're working on a lot of things, including an executive order."

The issue has produced a series of headaches for the Justice Department, as Trump has insisted on moving forward despite earlier statements by administration officials that census forms would be printed without a citizenship question.

Earlier this week, the department sought to replace the team of lawyers assigned to the effort, after at least some career attorneys on the case grew frustrated with the Trump administration's sudden shift in position on whether it could keep fighting.

Two federal judges have since denied that bid.

That fight, which once seemed at its end, intensified Wednesday when a group of conservative lawmakers wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging him to support Trump in adding the citizenship question to the census by executive order.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The letter controversially states that assessing the citizenship question is "germane to carrying out our duty to apportion representatives."

The Trump administration has denied that adding the question is meant to boost its political fortunes through redistricting, but many Democrats charge that the question is meant to scare away Latinos from participating in the census, resulting in an undercount of that population.

• The Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.

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