A federal judge in California blocked the U.S. Census Bureau late Thursday from ending the 2020 count of every U.S. resident at the end of September, siding with civil rights groups and local governments who argued that the Trump administration's premature termination of the census would result in an undercount of minorities and other hard-to-count communities. The Commerce Department had argued that ending the already shortened decennial head count on Sept. 30, not Oct. 31, was necessary to meet a Dec. 31 deadline. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh agreed with the plaintiffs that the inaccurate results would inequitably affect the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding and skew political representation. The Census Bureau and Commerce Department said they will likely appeal the ruling.

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