COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the U.S. Census Bureau to release population data relevant to Ohio’s upcoming congressional redistricting process.
“The federal government has chosen to drag its feet by delaying the release of census data instead of following the law,” Yost said. “The people of Ohio have found ways to meet their responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – adapting how we run businesses, caring for loved ones, home schooling children – why should the government create a double standard?”
Federal law requires the Census Bureau to give all states their census data by March 31. This data is critically important for states to make informed decisions for their constituents.
On February 12, the Census Bureau announced that it will delay the release of census data until September 30, citing the change on COVID-19 delays. A postponement until September means that the Ohio Redistricting Commission will be unable to use the data in the 2021 redistricting process – a process that Ohioans created in 2018 through a constitutional amendment that passed by overwhelming margins.
“Laws cannot be arbitrarily changed by administrative fiat,” Yost said. “Even if it’s inconvenient, the Census Bureau must do its job.”