Appeals court sides with Ohio in battle to get 2020 census data


FILE – This April 5, 2020, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. Michigan’s slow population growth over the past decade will cost the state a U.S. House seat, continuing a decades-long trend as job-seekers and retirees have fled to other states. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

COLUMBUS, OH (WOWK) – The state of Ohio has won the latest battle to force the U. S. Census Bureau to release more data from the 2020 census.

The state sued the bureau to get data it needs for re-districting state and congressional boundaries after the bureau said the data release would be delayed until as late as September citing COVID-19 related delays.

Ohio Attorney General David Yost had asked the bureau to release the data at the earliest possible date in order to meet state deadlines to draw district boundaries for state legislators and Congressional seats in Washington, D.C.

However, Federal District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose threw out the lawsuit stating the state had no standing to force the federal agency to release the data earlier than it planned and that the state would still be able to hit the deadlines for re-districting with the delayed data.

Tuesday the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Rose stating the state has standing and that “…Ohio currently has no assurance that the federal government will live up to its most recent representation.”

The court sent it back to the lower court adding, “With only three months until the proffered resolution date, the district court should treat this matter expediently and hold a hearing to determine what remedy (if any) is appropriate.

“Bringing this suit forced the U.S. Census Bureau to admit it can provide us the data sooner than originally stated- which has been our goal all along,” said Yost in the wake of the ruling. “Now we are asking the court to hold them to their word.”

A hearing date has not yet been set.

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