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July 12, 2019

President Trump's conservative legal allies are "stunned and depressed" after he backed down from his attempt to have a citizenship question added to the 2020 census, Axios reports.

Federalist Society members including executive vice president Leonard Leo, who has advised Trump on Supreme Court nominees, were "shocked and floored by how weak the decision was," the report from Jonathan Swan says, with one conservative leader calling the whole situation "a total waste of everyone's time" that will "give people pause the next time one has to decide how far to stick one's neck out."

Printing of the 2020 census began after the Supreme Court last month told the Trump administration it had not provided a sufficient explanation for needing to add a citizenship question. But then President Trump began publicly weighing the possibility of an executive order as Attorney General William Barr said he saw a pathway to getting the question added. But on Thursday afternoon, Trump backed down, deciding he would seek to obtain the citizenship data he is after by other means.

Not all conservatives were so apoplectic about Trump's decision, though, with attorney and Trump critic George Conway mocking this Axios report on Twitter by suggesting these "stalwarts" Swan references "don't have much experience in courtrooms." Brendan Morrow

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