Cleveland.com | Andrew J. Tobias
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Thursday he is suing the U.S. Census Bureau over an expected six-month delay in the release of 2020 census data.
Yost, a Republican, said in a federal lawsuit that the delay would “irreparably harm” the state, forcing it to miss state constitutional deadlines for redistricting, the process of drawing up new congressional and state legislative districts. That process starts with census data, which is used to determine how many people live where as districts are created by population.
The lawsuit seeks to force the bureau to release the data by March 31 legal deadline, or at least sooner than the date previously shared by census officials.
Census data is normally delivered to states by March 31. But citing the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau announced earlier this month it could be as late as Sept. 30 before the data is ready.
“The bottom line is when Congress passes a law, the executive has a duty to execute it,” Yost said in an interview. “You don’t get to say this is too hard. Let’s give up.”