The Justice Department has decided to shake things up for the 2020 census — appointing a new team of Civil Division lawyers to handle all census-related cases, including President Trumps push to have a citizenship question added to next years survey.
Agency officials confirmed the move in a statement Sunday.
“As will be reflected in filings tomorrow in the census-related cases, the Department of Justice is shifting these matters to a new team of Civil Division lawyers going forward,” said DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since these cases began, the lawyers representing the United States in these cases have given countless hours to defending the Commerce Department and have consistently demonstrated the highest professionalism, integrity, and skill inside and outside the courtroom.”
Its unclear what spurred the change or who ordered it.
An official told Reuters and the Associated Press that the new team of lawyers will consist of both career and political appointees. James Burnham, who is currently the deputy attorney general of the DOJs Civil Division, will no longer be leading the group, the official said.
The shake-up comes just days after President Trump said he was “very seriously” considering an executive order to get his proposed citizenship question added to the 2020 census. Administration officials claim the question would help the government enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters access to the ba