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DOJ Official John Gore Must Testify in 2020 Census Lawsuits

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 27, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some legal questions are easy to answer, even for judges in a politically charged case.

For example, it took the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals just hours to answer a key question In Re. United States Department of Commerce. If they didn't have to write their opinion, they could have ruled from the bench.

They said a Justice Department official must testify in the case. The hard questions come later at his deposition.

The Citizenship Question

John Gore, as acting assistant attorney general, will have to answer to attorneys who want to know what his department did for the 2020 census. The big question will be the citizenship question.

The Trump administration is facing six lawsuits around the country over it. Dozens of states, cities, and other groups want the citizenship question removed from the upcoming head count.

The plaintiffs say that asking people about their citizenship could produce an undercount. That could alter congressional districts, diminish federal funding, and -- in an anti-immigrant political climate -- lead to deportations.

Judge Jesse Furman also wants to know what officials were thinking. He ordered depositions for Gore and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Concealed Truth

The Washington Post reported that the judge is determined to find out whether Ross concealed the truth about the citizenship question.

Ross is accused of misrepresenting his reasons for the census decision. He denies it, but after the Second Circuit decision he may soon have to answer for it.

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