The Trump administration is continuing to seek to include a question about respondents’ citizenship on the upcoming 2020 Census, even after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down their efforts. A lower-level federal judge has now slammed the Trump team’s newest efforts, allowing for the case to continue to proceed as it was despite their claims of seeking to find a “new” justification for the question, which would supposedly free them from the Supreme Court decision. The nation’s highest court had concluded that their initially presented reasoning for including the question was essentially arbitrary and so it had no place moving forward.
Maryland-based Judge George Hazel shared:
‘It appears that… Defendants take the view that discovery on the remaining equal protection and Section 1985 claims should be put on hold pending a “new” decision being reached by the Commerce Secretary. While there is some degree of logic to Defendants’ position, the Court disagrees based on the unique circumstances of this case… Regardless of the justification Defendants may now find for a “new” decision, discovery related to the origins of the question will remain relevant.’
The question Hazel is discussing is whether the question ever being aimed for in the first place can be considered a racist, discriminatory act. Deceased Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller has been revealed to have explicitly concluded that adding the question would disenfranchise Democrats and minority communities, since immigrant families would be discouraged from answering the census thanks to the scrutiny of their citizenship and then Democrat-leaning areas would be given less representation in Congress. Partitioning Congressional districts is one of the many things that census data is used for.
Initially, the Trump administration signaled that they would abide by the Supreme Court having struck down their attempt at a census citizenship question, but Trump abruptly changed course and demanded that government lawyers find a way to include it — leaving them at first unsure even of what they were supposed to be doing, a reasonable side effect of a government run by an arbitrary decision-driven egomaniac.
Notably enough, just this past week Trump told reporters that the administration wanted to include the citizenship question to more accurately draw Congressional districts and thereby supposedly uphold the Voting Rights Act — although just a few weeks ago the Solicitor General of the United States explicitly told the Supreme Court that’s not what they were aiming for. Talk about cohesion — besides, census data is collected and districts are drawn based on total population, not only those with citizenship.
The effort thereby figures into a broader picture of the Trump administration trying again and again to deny rights to those who aren’t nice upstanding white American Christian citizens. Trump has sought to turn back asylum provisions over and over, and the people who do make it in are being kept in inhumane, abusive facilities where conditions range from guards making a gay man wear a sign broadcasting his identity to “dangerous” overcrowding and a lack of basic supplies for those detained, including thousands who should have been let out already according to already in-place guidelines!
Featured Image via screenshot