Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Just Had a Bull Durham Moment

The Secretary of Commerce has announced a target date of October 5, 2020 to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations.

— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) September 28, 2020

Judge Koh Will be Seeing You

It’s never a good idea to call an umpire a c%$# sucker.  As was shown in the classic Baseball Movie Bull Durham.

 If you are a ball player, you are certainly going to get ejected, and likely to get fined.

When a senior administration official does the same thing with a Federal judge, as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has just done with the census, this becomes a setup for a privileged asshole to have a very unpleasant day with a pissed off judge.

Even if he only spends a few hours in the slam waiting for a DoJ motion to bail him out, he will not enjoy himself.

An announcement Monday that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is aiming to end census data collection by Oct. 5 took a federal judge by surprise days after she ordered operations to continue through Oct. 31 to get an accurate population count.

“Breaking news,” a lawyer for the Commerce Department told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh as a hearing was under way on a lawsuit by civil rights groups claiming that the Trump administration’s move to compress the timeline for the once-a-decade census will result in an undercount of minorities.

The government lawyer pointed the judge to a tweet from the Census Bureau about Ross’s intentions.

Koh said she was “disturbed” that “despite the court’s order,” census supervisors have told field workers to wrap up data collection. The judge added that she’s been “inundated” with emails from field workers making similar allegations.

Clearly, I need to bring this to a head sooner than I thought,” she said. “And I’m prepared to do it. So let’s do this.” 

(emphasis mine)

I am an engineer, and not a lawyer, dammit,* it seems to me that this is a judge who is very pissed off at what has just happened.

Hopefully, she will take action against the administration officials behind this, and not just the department of commerce.

*I love it when I get to go all Dr. McCoy!

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