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Federal Judge Dismisses Ohio's Lawsuit To Force Release Of Census Data

This April 5, 2020, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit.
Paul Sancya
/
Associated Press
This April 5, 2020, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit.

A federal judge has dismissed Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s lawsuit against the Biden administration, attempting to force the results of last year’s Census to be released by the end of this month. But the legal battle isn’t over.

Ohio had hoped to start drawing new legislative and Congressional maps this year, for the first time under a process approved by voters.

Congressional maps are redrawn after a census, and the U.S. Census Bureau said its data won’t be available until September due to delays caused by the pandemic and changes from the Trump administration. Yost sued to return to the March 31 legal deadline.

Southern District of Ohio Judge Thomas Rose rejected Ohio's request for a temporary injunction. He notes that the Ohio constitution has other ways to draw maps without census data, and that the state not having a flexible map-drawing schedule because of the pandemic is not the administration’s problem.

And finally, he wrote that the state’s frustration in not having the data isn’t concrete harm, so Ohio doesn’t have standing to sue. He said there won’t be a decision on whether Ohio will have 16 or 15 representatives in Congress until later in the year.

The Attorney General’s office has appealed the ruling.