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Democrat Judge Tosses Citizenship Question Off 2020 Census

Citzenship Question











A census question on citizenship was first proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and was first included in the fourth Census of 1820. It was asked continuously and without controversy from 1890-1950, a period which encompassed the years of highest immigration and the highest percentage of the foreign born in the population. It did not depress responses at the time.

Democrats and Far Left race-based organizations brought suit claiming the question is designed to undercount immigrants and minorities.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman found that Sec. Wilbur Ross’s decision to add the citizenship question is “not inconsistent with the Constitution.” He also ruled that the plaintiffs “did not carry their burden of proving that Secretary Ross was motivated by invidious discrimination and thus that he violated the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause.”

However, Judge Furman proceeded to rule against the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. In the wake of Judge Furman’s decision our friends Mike Gonzalez and Hans Von Spakovsky at Heritage have shared with us their analysis of Furman’s selective and biased view of the evidence in the case.

As Judge Furman himself wrote, “time is of the essence because the Census Bureau needs to finalize the 2020 questionnaire by June of this year,” any appeal of this case should be expedited, to the Supreme Court if necessary, as quickly as possible. After reading the Heritage analysis we agree with Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky: the ruling needs to be overturned and corrected at once.

According to the evidence in the case, the 2010 Census asked about such matters as “the age, sex, race, and ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) of each person in a household.” Yet, he says the government may not ask the one question that is of import to a self-ruling republic, whether a responder is a citizen or not.

However, observed Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky, in his selective recitation of the long history of a citizenship question on the Census, the judge failed to mention the fact that a citizenship question is currently used by the Census Bureau on the American Community Survey has never drawn any complaints from the challengers in this case. The ACS is sent to selected geographic areas all over the country.

The only classification that government should be inquiring about said Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky is whether a resident is a citizen or not—not the sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, etc. of a resident—matters on which the law should be blind.

From our perspective the most damning part of the Heritage analysis is Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky’s dissection of Judge Furman’s craven kowtowing to the radical Left organizations among the plaintiffs.

The judge found that among the plaintiffs that have standing in this case are the so-called “NGO Plaintiffs,” comprised of the New York Immigration Coalition, Casa de Maryland, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Research Institute and Make the Road New York. These groups are comprised of radical leftist organizations that partially live off of government spending that is dictated by Census numbers.

As Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky observed, Judge Furman simply echoes these organizations’ mission statement when he writes, “Each of the NGO Plaintiffs is deeply committed to a laudable mission of increasing political participation, promoting civic engagement, and advancing the interests of the immigrant communities.” In CASA’s case he literally cut- and-pasted CASA’s self-description when he wrote, “CASA’s mission is to create a more just society by increasing the power of and improving the quality of life of low-income immigrant communities.”

Judge Furman’s ruling that Sec. Ross’s decision “has caused another harm to Plaintiffs: the diversion of precious resources” begs the question whether these organizations have a legal right to federal funding or to spend money on the census to begin with say Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky.

As Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky pointed out, the Census continued to ask the question in the long form that went to fewer households after 1950. The American Community Survey, which replaced the long-form census in 2005 and goes out once a year, continues to ask the question on citizenship. But it collects limited data because it only goes to one out of every 38 households.

The coordinated attacks from liberals on this common-sense reform are in keeping with other over-the-top ritual condemnations of administration reforms in the census and practically all domestic and foreign policy domains. The Administration should rebut the criticism point by point but not be deterred from further action.

We agree with Gonzalez and Von Spakovsky that because many of these attacks are coming from individuals and organizations that sit on the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, the administration should see this as further evidence that the NAC has been co-opted by liberal organizations. It is yet another reminder that it should disband the NAC.

Though not mentioned as a rationale, the elephant in the room – and the motivation for liberals fighting so hard against including the citizenship question – is that it will re-open the debate over whether electoral seats should be apportioned according to the population of citizens rather than the total population.

Those who argue for total population say non-citizens use services and are entitled to equal representation. Using total population, however, creates a situation where voters in precincts with a large percentage of illegal residents or other non-citizens have more electoral power than voters in precincts with a higher percentage of citizens, which is fundamentally unfair.

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Wouldn't illegals lie anyway? They start their USA lives by lying (i.e., breaking the law).

Wouldn't illegals lie anyway?

Yep, they don't just start breaking the law by lying, stepping over the border is breaking our sovereignty, thus the law. Let me guess, an Obama-Sotero judge? It won't affect illegals the way they complain about. Checking that box will merely give the demographics as to the ethnicity of an area. Can they vote? No. Not in national elections. I don't include California in the USA because it has Moonbeam and other democraps running it.