The Trump administration's request to temporarily block a lower court order that extends the 2020 census schedule has been denied, according to a new ruling by 9th U.S. Circuit Judges Johnnie Rawlinson and Judge Morgan Christen. Rawlinson and Christen were part of a three judge panel with Circuit Judge Patrick Bumatay, who dissented.
"Given the extraordinary importance of the census, it is imperative that the Bureau conduct the census in a manner that is most likely to produce a workable report in which the public can have confidence," wrote Rawlinson and Christen in their order. "The hasty and unexplained changes to the Bureau's operations contained in the Replan, created in just 4 to 5 days, risks undermining the Bureau's mission."
A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment on the ruling.
The Trump administration has been pushing to end the census count on Sept. 30, a month earlier than originally planned.
An April 2021 extension was originally requested and approved for the administration to report census results due to the coronavirus pandemic, which halted the Census Bureau's effort to receive responses from large portions of the country.
But Trump later reversed course, deciding he no longer wanted the extension and instead asked the courts to mandate the census expedite their results.
District Judge Lucy Koh issued a temporary injunction last week to suspend the Census Bureau’s plan to end the headcount early in order to ensure a fair and accurate tally of historically undercounted groups. The next day, the administration appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit.
Despite Koh's temporary injunction allowing the process to continue through Oct. 30, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Monday the count of every U.S. resident will end Oct. 5.
However, three census workers emailed the court expressing their concerns that wrapping up their work by Oct. 5 could risk an undercount for this year's census, which could potentially hit low-income areas and communities of color who are least likely to respond to the census the hardest, as well as exclude immigrants from the population count.
The move would ultimately affect the number of congressional seats allotted to each state and impact the distribution of $1.5 trillion of federal spending annually.
Koh asked federal attorneys during a Monday hearing to provide documents on how the decision to end the headcount on Oct. 5 was made. Ross’ office must now respond to the Census workers’ concerns by 8 a.m. PT Wednesday.
The latest ruling comes as Census Bureau officials, the Commerce Department inspector general's office, and the bureau's Census Scientific Advisory Committee have all warned against shortening the census schedule.
Fox News' Morgran Phillips, Vandana Rambaran and The Associated Press contributed to this report.