A federal judge in New York on Tuesday denied a bid from the Justice Department to replace the team of lawyers on the case about the census citizenship question, writing that its request to do so was “patently deficient.”
The department had earlier this week announced its intention to swap out the legal team on the case, without saying exactly why.
A person familiar with the matter said the decision was driven in part by frustration among some of the career lawyers who had been assigned to the case about how it was being handled, though the department wanted to replace those in both career and political positions.
But U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman denied the formal, legal bid to do so.
“Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” Furman wrote.