Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Judge denies DOJ request to change lawyers in census citizenship question case

A New York federal judge barred the Justice Department on Tuesday from changing its lawyers in a legal fight over the Trump administration's effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman, an Obama appointee, said government lawyers' motion for the change was "patently deficient" except in the case of two lawyers who have already left the department or the civil division which is handling the case.
"Defendants provide no reasons, let alone 'satisfactory reasons,' for the substitution of counsel," Furman wrote.
The Justice Department sought to switch out its legal team Monday after some of its attorneys seemed to be giving up on the legal fight. Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press that he had learned from a top DOJ civil attorney leading the litigation effort that multiple people on the team preferred not to continue.
The American Civil Liberties Union praised Furman's ruling in a Tuesday statement.
“The Justice Department owes the public and the courts an explanation for its unprecedented substitution of the entire legal team that has been working on this case," said Dale Ho, ACLU voting rights project director. "The Trump administration is acting like it has something to hide, and we won’t rest until we know the truth.”
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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