A federal judge ruled late Friday she is unconvinced of an immediate need to block a citizenship question from the 2020 census over privacy concerns.
US District Judge Dabney Friedrich declined to issue a preliminary injunction requested by a privacy and civil liberties nonprofit group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The group argued that the US Census Bureau was required to complete a privacy impact assessment before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the addition of the question.
In response, the government acknowledged it is required to update its privacy impact assessments, but must do so before collecting census responses, rather than before deciding what questions would appear.
The court sided with the government, with much of the technical, 20-page decision centered on the question of when the law requires the assessment to be completed. The ruling also suggested the group would have been more persuasive if it had asked the court to require a privacy impact assessment be performed, rather than halt the citizenship question.