Supreme Court Ruling Allows Administration to End Census Count Early

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement after a U.S. Supreme Court order Tuesday granted the Justice Department’s request to halt the 2020 Census count early, blocking a lower court order that required the government to continue with the count as originally planned through October 31, 2020:

“The Census data collection deadline has continued to play out like a yo-yo. I’m disappointed to see the Supreme Court order that the 2020 Census count can be cut short while appeals move forward. Ending data collection prematurely will undermine efforts for an accurate count of our nation and especially historically undercounted communities. While I continue to push to advance my bipartisan legislation with Senator Schatz, the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, to ensure the Census Bureau has the time needed to finish the counting operations and data processing, I strongly encourage every Alaskan who hasn’t participated in the Census questionnaire to do so in the next day. The deadline to respond online is now October 15, 2020 through 11:59 pm Hawaii Standard Time. What takes just a few minutes to complete has impacts to our state that last for the next ten years as it determines how much federal funding our local communities will receive for public services like schools and roads. This is too important to not get right.”

Background: U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) previously introduced the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, alongside U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Congressmen Don Young (R-AK) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to provide for additional time to complete the 2020 Census and is also cosponsored by Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Jon Tester (D-MT). Their bill extends the Census operations of nonresponse follow-up and self-response to October 31, 2020 as well as extends the Census statutory reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting. The Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General issued a report on September 18, 2020 finding that the acceleration of the census schedule increases the risks to a complete and accurate 2020 Census.