Trump considers executive order

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department said Friday it will press its search for legal grounds to force the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, hours after President Donald Trump said he is “very seriously” considering an executive order to get the question on the form.

Trump said his administration is exploring a number of legal options, but the Justice Department did not say exactly what options remain now that the Supreme Court has barred the question at least temporarily.

The government has already begun the process of printing the census questionnaire without that question.

The administration’s focus on asking broadly about citizenship for the first time since 1950 reflects the enormous political stakes and potential costs in the once-a-decade population count that determines the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives for the next 10 years and the distribution of some $675 billion in federal spending. It also reflects Trump’s interest in reshaping how congressional districts are drawn.

“You need it for Congress, for districting,” he said Friday. “How many people are there? Are they citizens? Are they not citizens? You need it for many reasons.”

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