Census work has been winding down, but a judge says it needs to press on for now

The Trump administration must, for now, stop winding down in-person counting efforts for the 2020 census, a federal judge in California ordered Saturday, while a legal fight over the shortened schedule for the national head count continues.

The temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California comes after challengers led by the National Urban League filed an emergency request as part of a federal lawsuit — both of which cite NPR’s reporting. The order is expected to remain in effect until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17 for the plaintiffs’ request for a court order that would require counting to continue through the end of October.

A coalition that includes civil rights groups and local governments, as well as the Navajo Nation and the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, is trying to force the Census Bureau to abandon a last-minute schedule change that cuts counting a month short to end on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31, which was originally chosen by the bureau to make up for delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.