Harris County to challenge early Census cutoff

Harris County could soon weigh in on a national controversy over the Census.

Harris County Commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to have the County Attorney file a friend of the court brief in an expected lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s early cutoff date of Sept. 30.

County leaders have been concerned for months over a possible undercount in the Census, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such an undercount could wind up costing the county federal funding.

By the end of July, just half of all Houston households had filled out the questionnaire.

The brief would join other counties and states that have challenged the Trump Administration’s push to place a citizenship question on the census form.

“The same group of counties and states that are challenging the notion that non-citizens will not be counted when we reapportion congressional districts has been discussing the idea of challenging this particular action,” said First Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard.