[Ed. – The media are framing this as Trump being a chaotic mess. From here it looks like people in his administration not listening to the boss, and probably trying to box him in by announcing faits accomplis to the press. The press is certainly eager to help them out. Trump is talking now about implementing a citizenship question with an executive order, although it looks unclear that the question could actually be printed in the Census mailers.]
The Justice Department signaled to a federal judge in Maryland Friday that the Trump administration is still fighting to place the citizenship question on the census, something Mr. Trump insists he wants. The Justice Department did not provide a different rationale for adding the question, as the Supreme Court has said is necessary to successfully and legally do so.
U.S. District Judge George Hazel had given the Justice Department until 2 p.m. to explain what the administration intends to do, after Mr. Trump surprised even his own Justice Department lawyers when he tweeted Wednesday morning his administration is still fighting to keep the question — after the Justice and Commerce Departments said late Tuesday the census questionnaire is being printed without it. …
The DOJ in Friday’s status filing said that the DOJ and Census have been “instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, that would allow for the inclusion of the citizenship question on the census.