US Supreme Court

Why block the traditional Census citizenship question?

On the last day of its recent session, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to block the traditional citizenship question from America's 2020 Constitutionally-required Census. While the court ruled the question is indeed constitutional, Chief Justice Roberts apparently did not like the "tone" of the Trump administration's insistence the traditional citizenship question be reinstated.

Our government has demographic information on legal immigrants and visa holders. The Census citizenship question would provide demographic information on those who are not citizens.

If the citizenship question were to be asked, then it would be a rudimentary process to subtract the set of legal immigrants and visa holders from the set of those who are not citizens. The result would be the set of those who are illegal aliens, complete with address of residence.

This is the information that the Democrat party does not want revealed, as they benefit from a mass influx of illegal aliens - and their descendants - who ultimately will vote Democrat.

Excerpts from articles analyzing this decision follow:

 

Supreme Court Votes 5-4 To Block Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, by Ken Klukowski, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in a sharply divided Supreme Court that voted 5-4 in deciding the U.S. census can ask about citizenship, but by a separate 5-4 vote is sending the case back to the lower court.

Consequently, the citizenship question cannot be asked on the 2020 census, because the additional hearing cannot take place before the cutoff for printing the census forms for next year.

This decision will immediately be compared to the 2012 decision saving Obamacare. Roberts was joined by the four conservative justices to say federal law permits asking about citizenship, but then switched over to join with the four liberal justices to remand the case to the federal trial court for further evidentiary hearings....

Roberts noted “demographic questions have been asked in every census since 1790, and questions about citizenship in particular have been asked for nearly as long.”...

Conservatives and the Trump administration will be deeply disappointed by this decision, and are likely to harshly criticize the chief justice....

The impact of today’s decision reaches far beyond the 2020 census. Justice Thomas concluded in his dissenting opinion for conservative justices:

The Court’s erroneous decision in this case is bad enough, as it unjustifiably interferes with the 2020 census. But the implications of today’s decision are broader. With today’s decision, the Court has opened a Pandora’s box of pretext-based challenges in administrative law.

Today’s decision marks the first time the Court has ever invalidated an agency action as “pretextual.” Having taken that step, one thing is certain: This will not be the last time it is asked to do so. Virtually every significant agency action is vulnerable to the kinds of allegations the Court credits today. These decisions regularly involve coordination with numerous stakeholders and agencies, involvement at the highest levels of the Executive Branch, opposition from reluctant agency staff, and—perhaps most importantly—persons who stand to gain from the action’s demise. Opponents of future executive actions can be expected to make full use of the Court’s new approach.

 

SCOTUS sides with Trump on constitutionality of census citizenship question, but the question is still unlikely to appear on 2020 forms due to remand, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

In a complicated 5-4 ruling handed down on its last day of its recent session, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the census complied with the constitution, but also effectively blocked its implementation for the 2020 survey.

In short, the ruling finds that the executive branch has a right to reinstate a question about citizenship, but that it needs to come up with a better explanation for adding it....

 

Upshot of today’s SCOTUS rulings: Courts are God except for one ‘rare circumstance’, by Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the gerrymandering cases was a victory for those who believe in the proper role of courts, irrespective of political outcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace from judicial supremacy. Unfortunately, what the chief justice giveth in the redistricting case, he taketh in the census citizenship case where he reaffirmed the power of the courts to get involved in every other political question and litigate it to death....

in the census case, while recognizing that “our interpretation of the Constitution is guided by a Government practice [asking a citizenship question] that “has been open, widespread, and un-challenged since the early days of the Republic,” he refuses to reverse the lower court’s interference with its enactment.

In a complex and defragmented plurality ruling that morphed into a unanimous order, Chief Justice Roberts helped give liberals a majority in keeping the litigation against the census question alive by remanding the case back to the courts. Meanwhile, rather than rebuking the lower courts for getting involved in a political dispute in such an unprecedented way, he legitimized much of their ruling. Moreover, with this ruling, he gave them endless ammo to shut down any common sense and lawful executive actions governing the enforcement of many critical laws, which will reverberate in other spheres of policy such as border security.

The 2010 Census under the Obama administration was the first time since 1840 that the citizenship question was not asked in any form. The same way Obama decided to extirpate it from the Census without question, Trump had the power to reinstate it....

In comes Roberts and admits that nothing in the Constitution or statute could possibly preclude the secretary of commerce from adding the citizenship question. But in what has become a pernicious pattern of the courts over the past few years, Roberts decided that he didn’t like the administration’s motivation behind it and feels it requires further litigation in the district court. He didn’t even agree with the plaintiffs that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by promulgating a regulation that is “arbitrary and capricious,” another favorite of the lower courts....

In reality, 13 U.S.C. §221 states very clearly that every resident is required to answer any question under penalty of fine unless it’s a question about religion. That is the only question walled off by Congress....

The Trump administration lawyers are going to have to come to terms with defending the prerogatives of the executive branch of government or risking the implementation of Obama’s third, and perhaps, fourth term in office....

 

Why the Citizenship Question Is So Important, Kris W. Kobach, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

... From 1820 to 2000 a version of the citizenship question was asked in every census but one (in 1840). After the 1950 census, the Census Bureau decided to create two census forms—a short, basic form that all households would receive and a long form (which about 1/6 to 1/4 of households would receive) that would ask all of the information that the federal government needed. Thereafter, the citizenship question remained on the long form until the long form was terminated after the 2000 census. At that point the long form was replaced by the annual American Community Survey, which still contains the citizenship question. But only a tiny percentage of the population receives it.

The Trump Administration in early 2018 made the entirely-correct decision to restore the citizenship question to the census....

In a rational world, the Court would have issued a 9-0 decision rejecting each of these arguments. Instead, the Court ruled by a narrow 5-4 vote that asking the citizenship question was consistent with both the Constitution and the Census Act....

There are so many additional reasons for the United States to know how many citizens it has, that it is difficult to select any single one as the most important. Here’s my list:

1. The number of citizens is something that every sovereign country should know. Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and dozens of other modern countries ask the question....

2. The principle of one person, one vote is at stake. Right now, state and federal legislative districts are drawn up simply based on the number of warm bodies in each district. Not only are legal aliens counted, but illegal aliens are counted too. As a result, citizens in a district with lots of illegal aliens have more voting power than citizens in districts with few illegal aliens.

3. The assumption behind moving the citizenship question to the long form turned out to be wrong. It was hoped in the 1950s that a recent federal statute requiring all aliens to register and notify the federal government whenever they moved would be followed and enforced. That data could be substituted for the information lost by moving the citizenship question to the long form. However, the assumption turned out to be incorrect....

4. The citizenship question provides important information about voting. Knowing who is a citizen and who isn’t allows the government to make a more accurate determination of what percentage of eligible citizens are voting in each state and each county.

5. It yields a wealth of valuable information about immigration. The question allows the government to determine which regions of the country see greater naturalization rates among aliens. This in turn reflects the assimilation of aliens into the American community. Citizenship data also enables the government to better calculate the number of illegal aliens in the country. Right now, estimates range from 11 million to 30 million. The open-borders Left doesn’t want the American people to know the true number.

And the list goes on....

 

SCOTUS Loses Its Census over Citizenship, by Daniel John Sobieski, American Thinker, June 28, 2019:

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts may go down in judicial history as the worst Republican SCOTUS pick ever. The man who found ObamaCare constitutional by inventing the fiction that it was a tax has joined the court’s four liberals to block a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, not because it is unconstitutional, but rather because he didn’t like the Trump administration’s reasons for asking for it.

The man who supervises the FISA Court, which blindly accepted every lie and fake document the Obama FBI and DoJ put before it to justify the deep state coup against the Trump presidency, says the reasons Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross presented for requesting its inclusion, well, didn’t smell right....

Asking this question is necessary to the functioning of a modern state and is an international norm, not the wet dream of white supremacists. As Hans von Spankovsky writes in the Washington Examiner:

To have an informed debate, shouldn’t we have accurate information about the citizen/noncitizen population of the country? In fact, even the United Nations recommends that its member countries ask a citizenship question on their census surveys, and countries ranging from Australia to Germany to Indonesia all ask this question. Only in the U.S. is this considered at all

Restoring the citizenship question to the Census is not unprecedented, not unconstitutional and absolutely necessary to help restore our national identity watered down by the “we are the world” globalists and denounced by the 2020 Democrats who want to decriminalize illegal border crossing and throw the borders open....

Trump Administration Returns To Supreme Court, Seeking End To DACA

The Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its decision to rescind the Obama-era DACA program Tuesday night.

The request is unusual, because legal challenges to DACA’s termination are still underway in the lower courts.

The Justice Department said the Court must act now to resolve the dispute this term, but left-leaning civil rights groups called the petition a political student ahead of Tuesday’s election. 

The Trump administration returned to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday night seeking to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era amnesty initiative that extends protected status to illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children.

The move is aggressive and unusual, as decisions on Trump’s efforts to rescind DACA are still pending in several federal appeals courts, and the justices seldom take up cases before those judgments issue. But the U.S. Department of Justice told the Supreme Court Monday that action is needed in the near term.

The Trump administration previously sought the Supreme Court’s review of its efforts to phase out DACA. After two federal judges issued injunctions requiring the government to continue administering the program, the Justice Department bypassed normal appellate procedure and went directly to the Supreme Court on Jan. 18 to vindicate its right to terminate the program.

The justices rejected that request on Feb. 26, but asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly process the case so it could return to the high court in a reasonable timeframe. Other challenges to DACA repeal efforts are currently before appeals courts in New York and Washington, D.C.

“It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case,” the Supreme Court’s February order read. No decision has since come from the circuit courts.

In a letter attending the government’s petition, Solicitor General Noel Francisco explained that the high court should take the cases now — even though the appeals courts have yet to render decisions on the matter — to ensure the justices can resolve the dispute during the current term.

“As this Court’s previous order recognized, prompt consideration of these cases is essential,” the letter reads. “By virtue of the district courts’ orders, DHS is being required to maintain a discretionary policy of non-enforcement sanctioning an ongoing violation of federal law by more than half a million individuals.”

“Yet, absent prompt intervention from this Court, there is little chance this dispute will be resolved for at least another year,” the letter adds.

On the merits of the dispute, the Trump administration contends that its decision to terminate DACA cannot be reviewed in court, since the program exists entirely at the executive branch’s discretion. Even if its termination decision is reviewable, they continue, it is still reasonable and lawful.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights denounced the move as an “election eve stunt.”

“The day before an election that will have huge implications for this administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Department have shamelessly asked the Supreme Court to bypass the appellate courts in their quest to end DACA,” said Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference. “This administration is in a rush to pull the rug out from under Dreamers and subject them to deportation. This extraordinary move is blatantly cruel to immigrant youth who call this country their home and contribute to their communities.”

“The Supreme Court must reject this politically motivated and unnecessary request,” she added.

But Sessions said that the 9th Circuit left the administration with little choice.

“The Department of Justice should not have been forced to make this filing today — the 9th Circuit should have acted expeditiously, just as the Supreme Court expected them to do,” the AG said Monday night. “But we will not hesitate to defend the constitutional system of checks and balances vigorously and resolutely.”

DACA extends temporary legal status to approximately 700,000 migrants, and allows them to obtain work permits.

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