"It is not uncommon for a new cabinet secretary to be in office advocating a different political direction, asking for support from other agencies to strengthen his views, not coordinate with staff or cut red tape," Justice Gorsuch wrote. "Of course, some people do not agree with the policy and the process. But at least until now, there had never been so much thought that a claim to malicious belief could be made and an Inquisition put into the motive of a Cabinet Secretary. "
On October 26, Judge Jesse M. Furman decided that the trial should continue.
"The defendants provide no basis for departing from the established and justified procedures that have generally been used in federal courts for generations. In the first instance, the district courts decide on cases, followed by an appeal by the defeated party minutes before the appeals court and then a petition to the Supreme Court, "wrote Judge Furman.
"The defendants may still have their day to discuss merit before the Supreme Court," he wrote. "But for many reasons, this day should not come before this court has decided the merit in the first case."
An appeals court also refused to close the case, and the Trump government returned to the Supreme Court on Monday. Attorney General Noel J. Francisco called on the judges to end the trial while the Supreme Court reviewed the government's petition.
"Without a stay," Francisco Francisco wrote, "there will be a full trial before the district court for the subjective motives of a secretary in the Cabinet, including the question of whether the secretary will house a secret racial animus to reinstate a civic issue for the ten-year census. The damage to the government by such a procedure is self-evident. "
Stakeholders indicated that Mr. Ross's motives were a key element of the case. He initially said that he responded to a request from the Justice Department in December 2017 and did not consult with the White House.
Later, Mr. Ross admitted that he had studied the idea long before he received a letter from the Department of Justice, and that he had discussed the issue with Stephen K. Bannon, then head strategist of President Trump, in the spring of 2017.