The Supreme Court ruled against a Trump administration plan to include a question on the 2020 census that would inquire about citizenship status. Following the ruling, President Trump promptly vowed to try to delay the census.
Trump issued a fierce tweet in which he said it “seems totally ridiculous” for the government not to ask such a “basic question.”
The ruling largely benefits the left, who rely on non-citizens to make up a large portion of their supporters.
Those who opposed the addition of the question to the census feared that this question would scare immigrants, causing them not to participate in the census which would lead to an inaccurate reflection of actual population numbers. This could yield less federal funding and fewer congressional seats in districts with a high number of immigrants, districts they have historically been owned by Democrats.
The Trump administration argued that the question is necessary because it would help with enforcing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which deals with voting practices that discriminate based on race. The idea behind this is that having this data would help prevent the drawing of congressional maps in ways that discriminate against minority citizens of voting age.
The court stated, however, that the administration’s explanation for adding the question was insufficient and sent it back to the lower courts for further consideration.
The ruling marked a major setback for the administration’s efforts to reduce voter fraud.
The Justice Department said in a statement it was “disappointed” by the decision. “The Department of Justice will continue to defend this administration’s lawful exercise of executive power,” DOJ spokesperson Kelly Laco said.
Roberts wrote that “neither respondents nor my colleagues have been able to identify any relevant, judicially manageable limits on the Secretary’s decision to put a core demographic question back on the census.”
The four liberal justices pointed out the fact that experts at the Census Bureau have suggested that the citizenship question could cause there to be an undercount of as many as 6.5 million, particularly in urban areas.
As reported by Fox News:
“There was a flurry of court activity related to the citizenship question in the days leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision.
On Monday, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland issued a ruling stating that the question raises potential Equal Protection and civil rights issues. The same court had previously ruled that the citizenship question also violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Enumeration Clause.
On Tuesday, the government sent a letter to the Supreme Court, claiming that the Maryland District Court’s order was “based on a speculative conspiracy theory that is unsupported by the evidence and legally irrelevant.” That same day, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal granted a motion to send the case back down so that the Equal Protection and civil rights issues could be considered. The government then sent another letter, encouraging the Supreme Court to consider those additional issues.”
This would not be the first time such a question has been asked on the census. In 1950, people were asked about their place of birth, and if their answer was outside the United States, they were then prompted to answer whether or not they had been naturalized.
A Trump tweet from back in April saw Trump say that at the Census Report would be “meaningless” without the citizenship question. Such a simple question could have a rather large impact on helping to fight voter fraud and would help to cut down on government spending that goes towards supporting illegals.