(CBS) President Trump says he has asked government lawyers if they can delay the 2020 census, after the Supreme Court ruled Thursday morning that the Trump administration cannot use it to ask census takers if they are citizens of the U.S.
The Supreme Court ruled that the proposed citizenship question won’t be added because the explanation for doing so is insufficient. “[W]e cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.
The administration had argued that the citizenship question was necessary in order to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Trump responded to Supreme Court’s decision at 2:38 a.m. local time in Japan, where he’s scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.
“Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
“I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the … United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!”
Lawmakers, including Congressional Republicans, questioned whether Mr. Trump had the authority to delay the census.
“I don’t know if he can delay the census, I think it’s set out in the constitution. I don’t know how you waive it. But that’s all I know,” Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby said.
Article I, Section II of the Constitution reads, “The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.”
The Department of Justice issued a statement shortly before Mr. Trump’s tweets saying they are disappointed in the ruling.
— This is a developing story and will be updated.