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Supreme Court poised to give Trump victory on census citizenship question

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Supreme Court poised to give Trump victory on census citizenship question

By Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley

 

2019-04-23T161812Z_1_LYNXNPEF3M1C3_RTROPTP_3_USA-COURT-CENSUS.JPG

Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Supreme Courthouse in Washington, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority on Tuesday appeared poised to hand President Donald Trump a victory on his administration's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a move opponents call a Republican effort to deter immigrants from taking part.

 

Conservative justices signalled during arguments in the closely watched case a willingness to overturn a lower court ruling that blocked the question and appeared untroubled by the administration's stated justification for using the citizenship question in the decennial population count. Their liberal counterparts expressed hostility toward allowing the question.

 

The court has a 5-4 conservative majority and has backed Trump in other high-profile cases. Conservative justices indicated a citizenship question would be eminently reasonable, noting that other countries use such questions and that the United States has done so in the past in one form or another.

 

Among the conservative justices indicating support for the administration's stance were Trump's two appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts, considered the court's pivotal vote.

 

Opponents have said the question would cause a sizeable undercount by frightening immigrant households and Latinos from filling out the census forms, fearful that the information would be shared with law enforcement. This would cost Democratic-leaning areas electoral representation in Congress and federal aid, benefiting Trump's fellow Republicans and Republican-leaning parts of the country, they said.

 

The census is used to allot seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and distribute some $800 billion in federal funds.

 

Lower courts ruled that the administration violated federal law and the U.S. Constitution in seeking to include the question on the census form. A ruling by the Supreme Court is due by the end of June.

 

During about 80 minutes of arguments, Roberts and other conservative justices appeared to accept the administration's argument that the question would yield better data to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects eligible voters from discrimination.

 

Roberts told New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, whose state sued to block the question, that citizenship data is critical for enforcing the Voting Rights Act and said it was "quite common" for the census to capture demographic details.

 

Kavanaugh said it is a "very common question" internationally, and that federal law gives Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department includes the Census Bureau, "huge discretion" in how the survey is conducted.

 

The Supreme Court already has handed Trump some major victories, including upholding his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries in June 2018. The court in January let Trump's policy barring many transgender people from the U.S. military to go into effect.

 

The census case comes in a pair of lawsuits by a group of states and localities led by New York state, and a coalition of immigrant rights groups challenging the legality of the question. The census forms are due to be printed in the coming months.

 

'A CONTRIVED ONE'

Liberal justices noted evidence presented by the Census Bureau's own experts that showed the citizenship question would lead to a population undercount, and, contrary to the administration's stated goal, less accurate citizenship data.

 

They also voiced skepticism about the administration's Voting Rights Act justification.

 

"You can't read the record without sensing that this need is a contrived one," liberal Justice Elena Kagan said.

 

"This is a solution in search of a problem," added liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's only Hispanic justice.

 

Sotomayor, who tangled with Trump administration's lawyer Noel Francisco during the argument, said there was "no doubt" the question would drive down the census response rate.

 

But Gorsuch and fellow conservative Justice Samuel Alito challenged evidence that inquiring about citizenship could lower response rates. Gorsuch noted that "it's not like this question is improper to ask."

 

Francisco argued that Ross acted properly within his discretion in deciding to add the question, adding, "It really does boil down to whether the secretary's judgement here is a reasonable one."

 

Citizenship has not been asked of all households since the 1950 census. It has featured since then on questionnaires sent to a smaller subset of the population. While only U.S. citizens can vote, non-citizens comprise an estimated 7 percent of the population.

 

Manhattan-based U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman on Jan. 15 ruled that the Commerce Department's decision to add the question violated a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act. Federal judges in Maryland and California also prohibited the question's inclusion in subsequent rulings, saying it would violate the Constitution's mandate to enumerate the population every 10 years.

 

The Census Bureau estimated that households corresponding to 6.5 million people would not respond to the census if the citizenship question is asked.

 

Immigrant advocacy groups rallied outside the court after the argument, with demonstrators carrying signs reading "no census without us" and "fair and accurate count for all." 

 

U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who represents part of New York City, said, "I hope the justices feel strongly that the Constitution should be upheld, that the science should be upheld, and that the experts should be listened to."

 

For a graphic on the major Supreme Court cases this term: https://tmsnrt.rs/2V2T0Uf

 

(Reporting by Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Will Dunham)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-24
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That would be sad and un nessary

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Yup more desperate by the day death row inmates voting?really?or did felons that have served their time to be allowed to vote again?whitch is it?its about funds allocated for federal programs you know like roads ect yup more panicked by the day

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2 minutes ago, Tug said:

Yup more desperate by the day death row inmates voting?really?or did felons that have served their time to be allowed to vote again?whitch is it?its about funds allocated for federal programs you know like roads ect yup more panicked by the day

 

Bernie Sanders said that he would allow the Boston Marathon Bomber to vote from prison and Kamala Harris said that she thinks we should have that conversation' when asked if she supports the same. 

 

Its absolute garbage. 

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Just now, Thainesss said:

 

Bernie Sanders said that he would allow the Boston Marathon Bomber to vote from prison and Kamala Harris said that she thinks we should have that conversation' when asked if she supports the same. 

 

Its absolute garbage. 

 

Same thought at the same time.

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Ok so you have 1 guy who supports that don’t think that’s gonna fly and ins not about how many illegals you can support that’s bs more Donald fear mongering bs

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Just now, Tug said:

Ok so you have 1 guy who supports that don’t think that’s gonna fly and ins not about how many illegals you can support that’s bs more Donald fear mongering bs

 

Then let the question be asked about if the person is a citizen or not. 

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Just now, Tug said:

ins not about how many illegals you can support that’s bs

 

No, its not. It clearly states in the OP that they need non-citizens counted on the census so that they can have more money and more representation. More EC Votes, more reps, more money. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Thainesss said:

 

No, its not. It clearly states in the OP that they need non-citizens counted on the census so that they can have more money and more representation. More EC Votes, more reps, more money. 

 

 

 

The thing is that those states are basically defrauding other states out of that funding. The same BS was going on with the SALT taxes before. Thankfully that's been rectified. 

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1 hour ago, Cryingdick said:

 

When you take a population census you count the citizens.

You forget that a population census should count all the citizens. This is not a population census, as it would only count citizens of voting age.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Estrada said:

You forget that a population census should count all the citizens. This is not a population census, as it would only count citizens of voting age.

 

That makes absolutely no sense. They ask things like how many kids you have, how many people in your household, etc. What doesn't make sense is allowing people who are not from the USA to answer a national census. It is a legally binding matter and if that means some illegals are deterred from replying that makes the rule of law the norm.

 

 

Edited by Cryingdick

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