Donald Trump’s attorneys tried to wriggle out of a lawsuit, but the judge said no. Even though the commander-in-chief increasingly considers himself above the law, the third branch of our government has held him in check, once again. With most Republicans lying down in the path of the president’s mega-mower, a federal district judge owned his power.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Jesse Furman, heard the Trump administration’s request to dismiss lawsuit, which was against a Census citizenship question, and said no. The suit challenged the modification the 2020 Census under the Voting Rights Act.
The judge claimed that when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided to put the citizenship question back into the Census process, it was at a minimum “discriminatory animus.” That question had been removed from the Census, because it resulted in inaccurate population numbers.
As of now, 17 states have a lawsuit pending that called into question whether the citizenship question was constitutional in that it skewed the population totals.
The judge said that his decision was not an indicator that the states would win in the end over Ross’ question. Furman said:
‘As noted, the Enumeration Clause and the Census Act grant him broad authority over the census, and plaintiffs may not ultimately be able to prove that he exercised that authority in an unlawful manner.’
‘Put another way, the question at this stage of the proceedings is not whether the evidence supports plaintiffs’ claims, but rather whether plaintiffs may proceed with discovery and, ultimately, to summary judgment or trial on their claims.’
Attorney General (AG) for New York, Barbara Underwood (D-NY), said that this lawsuit was a victory for the people of New York:
‘As we’ve argued, the Trump administration’s plan to demand citizenship status as part of the Census is unlawful — and it would potentially cause a huge undercount that would threaten billions in federal funds and New York’s fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College.’
The Democrats and civil right supporters said that Ross’ question would effectively mean a lower official population number than actually exists in certain locations. People would avoid the Census takers.
In the past, the Census results changed House districting and even the number of seats each state could have. That meant this question could have changed the number of states’ electoral votes.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.