The U.S. Justice Department said Sunday it is seeking a new legal team in its efforts to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked its inclusion.
James Burnham, the current deputy attorney general in the DOJ’s civil division and former White House lawyer, will no longer be heading the department’s efforts in the census case.
A senior DOJ official told Fox News that Burnham had no objections to handling these cases going forward, but thought it made sense to have a new legal team at this stage of the litigation.
The DOJ is expected to file court papers on Monday showing that a new team of lawyers will take over, said department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.
“As will be reflected in filings tomorrow in the census-related cases, the Department of Justice is shifting these matters to a new team of Civil Division lawyers going forward,” she said.
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The change comes days after the department vowed to continue finding a legal path forward to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.
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President Donald Trump said last week that he was “very seriously” considering an executive order to get the question on the form. The government has already started to print the census questionnaire without the question.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.