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Judges Send Ohio's Case Against Census Back To Lower Court

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

An appellate court has sent a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Census Bureau’s delay in releasing data used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts back to a trial court and ordered a judge to come up with a remedy between the statistical agency and the state of Ohio.

A panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati said Tuesday that Ohio had standing to sue the Census Bureau over its decision to delay the release of redistricting data from March 31 to mid-August.

A lower court had previously ruled that Ohio lacked standing and had dismissed the case.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced in April that Ohio would lose one of its 16 seats in the House of Representatives in 2023.

Ohio Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s sued the Biden administration earlier this year, attempting to force the results of last year’s Census to be released by the end of March.

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.