Trump to hold news conference on 2020 Census, citizenship question

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump points to a questioner while taking questions during a news conference following Tuesday's midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a news conference on Thursday to discuss his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which had been blocked in the courts amid challenges from some U.S. states and civil rights groups.

Trump, in a tweet, said he would hold the news conference following his planned meeting on social media, which is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. (1945 GMT).

Trump and his administration’s efforts to add a question to the nation’s decennial population survey have become embroiled in a legal fight not only over plaintiffs’ opposition to the question but also over the Department of Justice’s handling of the cases.

The case had already made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which last month ruled against the Republican president’s first attempt to add the question, saying the administration’s rationale was “contrived” but leaving the door open to its possible addition if officials could offer a new explanation.

Following the ruling, the Justice Department has sought to shake up its legal team by replacing the lawyers handling the case. On Wednesday, a second federal judge rejected the department’s efforts, saying it had to offer detailed reasoning for the change.