This happened last week:
Amy Howe Independent Contractor and Reporter
Posted Tue, July 2nd, 2019 6:23 pm
Last week a divided Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s stated reason for including a question about citizenship on the 2020 census – to help the Department of Justice better enforce federal voting rights laws – was a pretext. The “evidence,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “tells a story that does not match the explanation that” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross provided. The court’s four liberal justices joined Roberts in sending the case back to the Department of Commerce for a do-over, but today the government announced that the 2020 census will apparently not include the question after all.
Ross had declared last year that a question about citizenship would be included on the 2020 census. That announcement drew an immediate challenge from New York and other state and local governments, as well as several immigrants’ rights groups. The challengers feared that, if a question about citizenship were part of the census, households with residents who are not U.S. citizens would be less likely to respond, leading to an inaccurate count. And that, the challengers worried, could cost the states seats in the House of Representatives and millions of dollars in federal funding.
In January, a federal district court in New York blocked the government from including the citizenship question on the census. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to weigh in, which the justices agreed to do; they heard oral argument in the case in late April. Roughly a month later, the challengers notified the justices about new evidence suggesting that Thomas Hofeller, a Republican redistricting specialist who died last year, had played a role in the decision to add the citizenship question, and that the question had been included in the hope of providing whites and Republicans with an advantage in future elections. The evidence led to a series of last-minute filings in the Supreme Court and in a federal court in Maryland, where a district judge had reopened another challenge to reconsider whether Ross had wanted to add the citizenship question to discriminate against Hispanics.
Last week, a fractured court agreed with the government that the Constitution allowed Ross to decide to use the citizenship question, and that he could do so even though employees of the Census Bureau had recommended another approach to gathering citizenship data. The court noted that it was also reasonable for Ross to decide to use the question even if it might lead to a lower response rate from households with residents who are not U.S. citizens. But at the same time, Roberts stressed, the government needed to provide a better explanation for its decision.
In the wake of Thursday’s ruling, it wasn’t immediately clear what the government planned to do. The Department of Justice indicated only that it was “disappointed” by the ruling but would “continue to defend this Administration’s lawful exercises of executive power.” President Donald Trump seemed to leave open the possibility that the administration would still seek to include the question, tweeting that he had asked the lawyers “if they can delay the Census, no matter how long,” until the Supreme Court “is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter.”
But today the government seemed to close the door on including the question. In an email to lawyers involved in the case that was circulated widely on Twitter, Department of Justice attorney Kate Bailey wrote that the “decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question,” and “the printer has begun the printing process.”
With the legal battle over the citizenship question apparently over, the start of the 2020 census is approximately seven and a half months away: The first enumeration begins on January 21, 2020, in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
And then, Wednesday, I see this:
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.
8:06 AM – 3 Jul 2019
So, what is it?
We gonna have them disobey a decision by the SUPREME COURT?
I have been writing about this. The Census question is about depressing the reporting of Non-Whites in this country. We knew that instinctively because of the racism combined with public policy that radiates from everything that this Administration does.
That they used the lie of defending the Voting Rights Act as justification?
The Justice Department of the KKKeebler Elf DEFEND the Voting Rights Act?
We knew that was a lie, and that everytime Wilbur Ross or anyone else at Commerce testified about this under oath – THEY WERE LYING.
Now, even though we knew that to be case….we LITERALLY found the smoking gun.
So now, because of this NYTimes Article, the intent for the Citizenship Question goes even BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTION.
Hard Drives Reveal Details on Citizenship Question
May 30, 2019 at 8:59 am EDT
Thomas Hofeller achieved near-mythic status in the Republican Party as the Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps that cemented the party’s dominance across the country, the New York Times reports.
But after he died last summer, his estranged daughter discovered hard drives in her father’s home that revealed something else: Mr. Hofeller had played a crucial role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats… The disclosures represent the most explicit evidence to date that the Trump administration added the question to the 2020 census to advance Republican Party interests.
Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats. And months after urging President Trump’s transition team to tack the question onto the census, he wrote the key portion of a draft Justice Department letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act — the rationale the administration later used to justify its decision.
Mr. Hofeller’s exhaustive analysis of Texas state legislative districts concluded that such maps “would be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites,” and would dilute the political power of the state’s Hispanics.
The reason, he wrote, was that the maps would exclude traditionally Democratic Hispanics and their children from the population count. That would force Democratic districts to expand to meet the Constitution’s one person, one vote requirement. In turn, that would translate into fewer districts in traditionally Democratic areas, and a new opportunity for Republican mapmakers to create even stronger gerrymanders.
Understand, the Supreme Court seems to be ok with things if they can hide behind
‘ it only hurts political parties’, even though the obvious conclusion is that it’s racially motivated. The Conservatives are all about being able to hide behind window dressing. They thought that they had found the window dressing. But, then, literally, the smoking gun, with all the EXPLICIT RACIAL INTENT AND OUTCOMES, were found on those hard drives. Chief Justice Roberts said it in his majority opinion – the Administration just didn’t come up with a good enough lie for him. And, I will forever believe, even though this information didn’t come out during the ACTUAL oral arguments before the court- the discovery of this information is what changed Roberts’ vote.
So, let’s get a judge to look at what’s coming off the printer…..let’s see a copy of the 2020 Census WITHOUT the citizenship question.
Judge in census question case orders government to clarify its position
Seemingly accepting the assertion that Trump’s tweet about the Census citizenship question has created confusion, District court Judge Jesse M Furman in the Southern District of New York has ordered the government to state its “position and intentions” in the Census question case by 6pm ET.
Let’s see what they say.
Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) Tweeted:
BREAKING: DOJ Says It’s Been ‘Instructed’ To Try To Get Citizenship Question Back On Census https://t.co/FAtzeo6Kga via @TPM https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1146544009902514177?s=17
So, this happened Friday:
Another thread from someone who has been following this from the beginning:
And this came in last night: