At the end of July, it was reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was pushing to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census far more actively, and much earlier, than his later sworn testimony indicated. Documents released revealed the Trump Administration’s deep involvement was
official in pushing for the addition of the question earlier than what was indicated.
According to The Washington Post:
‘Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have granted the Trump administration’s request to delay the trial. It is unclear how the other six voted — including new Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh — because justices are not required to publish their votes in such procedures. But at least five of the six were unwilling to block the trial.’
Late Friday night, the justices also refused a request from the Trump administration to halt a lawsuit filed by young Americans that attempts to force the federal government to take action on climate change. Justices Thomas and Gorsuch would have granted the request but the court said that the administration should make its appeal to a lower court first.
The Trump Administration has been to the high court several times in their attempts to keep the challengers from questioning Ross and other administration officials about their motivations in adding the citizenship question. This led to the Department of Justice lawyers asking the court to delay the proceedings.
Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D), said in a statement:
‘DOJ has tried every trick in the book (and then some) to block this case — and failed every time. You really have to wonder what they’re trying to hide.’
According to The Post:
‘Democratic lawmakers and immigrant rights groups have blasted the idea of adding the citizenship question. They contend that it will make immigrants and their families less likely to fill out the form, leading to a more costly and less accurate census.’
Experts including six former census directors and a Census Bureau internal analyst have said that inclusion of the citizenship question could harm the count. It could cost states with large immigrant populations representation in Congress and federal funds distributed on the basis of population.
The question has actually been asked in the past but it hasn’t been asked as part of the routine decennial census questioning in decades. The Post reported:
‘The administration has said that any challenge to the Commerce Department action should be based on the administrative record, not probes of how top government officials decided it should be added.’
Ross said that he first added the question at the direction of the Justice Department, which claimed that it was needed to help enforce voting rights. However, emails show that Ross had pushed for the addition of the citizenship question earlier than that, and groups and states contend that the Justice Department request was a pretext.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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