"In my view, the government has ample justification to inquire about citizenship status on the Census, and could plainly provide rationales for doing so that would satisfy the Supreme Court," said Attorney General William Barr.
But Barr said there was not enough time left to make the legal changes to the arguments presented by the Commerce Department, which were called "contrived" by Chief Justice John Roberts.
"Put simply, it was a logistical impediment, not a legal one," Barr added.
The President's decision to back down - and the admission by the Attorney General that the Trump Administration had bungled the legal arguments to support a citizenship question - left some Republicans on Capitol Hill shaking their heads.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) - a former federal prosecutor, who had encouraged the President to fight on - said the 'swamp' had won with Mr. Trump's decision.
"The fact is he lost. The rule of law won. He had no other choice," said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).
"Even he knew he lost this fight," said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
The citizenship question was last asked on the regular census form in 1950, as it was moved later to a longer form which was sent to about one in six households.
Starting in the mid-1990's, the long form transitioned into a Census Bureau survey known as the “American Community Survey” - and the citizenship question was included in that yearly, through the Bush, Obama, and Trump Administrations.
It's not clear how accurate the President's executive order option will be in determining the number of illegal immigrants in the United States - it was an option suggested by the Census Bureau back in 2017.