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No Census citizenship question

Hallelujah.

The Trump administration is dropping plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the Justice Department confirmed Tuesday just days after the Supreme Court described the rationale for the question as “contrived.”

The decision to back away from the controversial question was a victory for civil rights advocates concerned that the query would lead to an inaccurate count of immigrant communities that could skew political representation and federal funding.

“In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the government had no choice but to proceed with printing the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question. Everyone in America counts in the census, and today’s decision means we all will,” attorney Dale Ho of the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

The fate of the question has been the subject of legal and political wrangling since March 2018, when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced he planned to add it to the decennial survey, sparking a half-dozen lawsuits from states, cities, civil rights groups and others.

Just last week, President Trump responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling by saying he would seek to delay the census to give administration officials time to come up with a better explanation for why it should include a citizenship question.

Instead, government lawyers notified those challenging the question of the decision to proceed without it.

See here and here for the background. It sure is nice to see lying not get rewarded for once, isn’t it? Despite this early cave, it was a closer call than you might think, because if the government had been able to get any slightly-less-bullshit pretext back before SCOTUS in time, you know John Roberts would have waved it on through. Now we can at least get this done in something approaching a normal manner, and add “pass a law outlawing citizenship questions on the Census” to the ever-longer to do list for the next Democratic government. Note that this should not affect the examination of the newly uncovered Hofeller evidence, but it does close this chapter of the story. Big sigh of relief. Think Progress, TPM, Mother Jones, Slate, and Daily Kos have more.

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19 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    So, it is a law to participate in the census. You want a law to ban a citizenship question. All under the presumption that law dictates behavior, but laws supporting border management are laws that should not be respected? If the census has the power to assign the number of representatives in the House of Representatives, and a voter has to be a U.S. citizen to vote. Non-citizens can influence the number of representatives, but cannot vote for them. Using this avenue of reason leads to the United States passing laws that allow anyone to vote in U.S. elections regardless of which country they live. What should the criteria be to be eligible to vote in a U.S. election?

    P.S. there are no statements or arguments about race of any kind in this statement and a default reaction or reflex would not be appreciated. If that is the course of this comment thread, it will be assumed a black hole has sucked all ability of reason into another dimension that has no possibility of salvation.

  2. Jules says:

    The current president has tweeted that reports that the citizenship question will be dropped is fake.

  3. David Fagan says:

    So, What should the criteria be to be eligible to vote in a U.S. election?

  4. David Fagan says:

    So, What should the criteria be to be eligible to vote in a U.S. election?

  5. Jules says:

    David, your “avenue of reason” doesn’t make sense. Nice use of paragraphs though.

  6. David Fagan says:

    The census dictates the number of representatives. If non citizens influence the number of representatives, but are not allowed to vote for these representatives, eventually the question of who is eligible to vote for these representatives would come into question. So, ultimately, who should be eligible to vote in U.S. elections?

    Texas added 3 representatives in the last census and the population is showing an increase in population again, so Texas could add more representatives after the next census. That’s a non partisan conclusion, but counting citizens and non citizens together will influence the number of representatives added, but not the number of eligible voters.

  7. C.L. says:

    While responding to the census questionnaire is a legal requirement (a fineable offense, only) , the government hasn’t prosecuted anyone for not returning the form in 49 years…

    Re: “What should the criteria be to be eligible to vote in a U.S. election?” Was that rhetorical ? US Citizen and State residency requirements.

  8. Bill_Daniels says:

    The real reason the left doesn’t want the question on the census is, they want to hide exactly how many illegals are actually here. We should be able to calculate the exact number of non citizens here legally via visas, green cards, TPS, and even the unconstitutional-but-has-the-color-of-law DACA. Having a pretty firm number of the total amount of non citizens would make it a pretty easy math problem to find out how many illegals are REALLY here.

    I think if most middle of the road Americans who really aren’t political knew the true number, they’d freak, and start demanding something be done about it. We’ve been hearing that “11 million people are here illegally for decades. We’re catching and eventually releasing over a million a year right now. How many have come before in the last 50 years?

  9. David Fagan says:

    C.L. I don’t think it’s rhetorical at all. I think it will be a future issue, just one taken for granted now. With the question of citizenship and representation, as it involves the census, is such an issue today, it has the potential to bring voting eligibility into question in the future. New York has addressed non citizens voting in local elections and brings up the question. The census is viewed, on a short term, as an economic stimulus with regard to non-citizen representation. It has the immediate effects of adding, or subtracting, the number of representatives in the House, thus influencing future laws and policies. I think it’s realistic to propose the question when citizenship on the census is seen as such a divisive issue. Do people who want to outlaw the possibility of a citizenship question on the census also support the possible ramifications on who is eligible to vote in a U.S. election?

    I also think if people want to express that,” yes “they support anyone within the boundaries of the U.S., citizen or not, should be able to vote in a U.S. election, should be able to say so without prosecution. Just have some supporting reasoning for it.

    To think this conversation is going to change policy is ridiculous, so don’t go calling people names.

  10. Jules says:

    “To think this conversation is going to change policy is ridiculous, so don’t go calling people names.”

    ??????

    Who called anyone a name?

  11. Bill_Daniels says:

    “Who called anyone a name?”

    Jules,

    In fairness, Manny hasn’t shown up in this thread yet. Patience, grasshopper.

  12. David Fagan says:

    Jules,

    You’re killin’ me smalls

  13. C.L. says:

    I’m confused – who’s making the argument non-US citizens should be eligible to vote in US elections ?

    Re: “The real reason the left doesn’t want the question on the census is, they want to hide exactly how many illegals are actually here.” That’s what the left wants ? Really ?

    Re: “I think if most middle of the road Americans who really aren’t political knew the true number…” Six second Google search later:

    Don’t we already have a pretty good idea ?

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/28/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/

  14. Jules says:

    CL, the same person as the name-caller on the thread – Fagan

  15. Manny says:

    The real reason the fascists, racists, and bigots want the question is because of the belief that would give more power to the white supremacists (fascist, racists, bigots)

  16. b earle says:

    and exactly how much did this boondoggle into court cost the American public? Typical…

  17. Bill Daniels says:

    Since there’s no thread addressing it, can I just hijack this one to wish Kuff and the whole peanut gallery at OTK a happy Independence Day? It’s a time to remember that we are all Americans, a time to remember those who came before us that loved liberty more than self, and to remember that America is an exceptional place, and we are all extremely fortunate to be here. For those of you going out tonight, drive safe! And for those of you who have served, thank you for your service.

  18. david fagan says:

    I can agree with that, Bill