The Latest: Administration still exploring citizenship query

FILE – In this June 27, 2019, file photo, Demonstrators gather at the Supreme Court as the justices finish the term with key decisions on gerrymandering and a census case involving an attempt by the Trump administration to ask everyone about their citizenship status in the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Justice Department said Tuesday that the 2020 Census is moving ahead without a question about citizenship. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

A high-ranking Justice Department official is telling a federal judge that the Trump administration has not abandoned efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, even as the U.S. Census Bureau has started the process of printing the questionnaire without the controversial query.

Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt says “there may be a legally available path” under last week’s Supreme Court decision that blocked the question, at least temporarily.

Hunt made his comments on a conference call with U.S. District Judge George Hazel Wednesday afternoon, following a tweet from President Donald Trump insisting that efforts to include the citizenship question would proceed.

The Justice Department had insisted to the Supreme Court that it needed the matter resolved by the end of June because it faced a deadline to begin printing census forms and other materials.

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11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is insisting that he is not dropping efforts to include a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 census, even as the U.S. Census Bureau has started the process of printing the questionnaire without the controversial query.

Trump says in a tweet Wednesday that, “News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” He says, “We are absolutely moving forward.”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about what he meant.

The Supreme Court halted the question’s inclusion and Trump administration attorneys notified parties in lawsuits challenging the question they were standing down.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement the forms were being printed without the question.

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