Donald Trump may not be an attorney, but he likes to act like one. He’s not afraid to go to court to prove he does things by the book. Through the years. Mr. Trump has sued and been on the receiving end of lawsuits numerous times. Now that he’s been president, the legal battles are in full gear. His administration didn’t waste any time pushing the legal envelope when it added the citizenship question to the 2020 census. The trial to stop that Commerce Department request starts November 6th in New York City.
Last March, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced he would add that question to the 2020 census. It didn’t take long for the Civil rights group, as well as other critics, to stand up and cry, “that’s a racist move.” Opponents of the question say that’s a move by the Trump Administration to scare minorities and immigrants so they don’t respond to the government survey. If the Census Bureau doesn’t get the right count, the data the government uses to form electoral districts will not reflect an accurate number of voters. And the data from the census determines where the government sends billions in federal funding.
The American Community Survey asks the citizenship question. That survey goes out to more than three million households every year. For the last 68-years, every American household gets to answer the simple questions on the census form. When Jeff Sessions got his dream job as Attorney General one of the first things he did was hide behind the 1965 Voting Rights Act so he could add the citizenship question. But he didn’t want to get dirt on his hands so he let Ross do it.
If there’s any doubt that Jeff Sessions doesn’t like immigrants, his recent move to separate immigrant children from their parents at the border should remove those doubts. Trump and Sessions may not get along, but they both want to stop the flow of illegal and legal immigration any way they can. And some critics say that means crossing the legal line to put their bigoted agenda in motion.
According to CNBC, the current court case will focus on the way the Commerce Department added the question. The plaintiffs in the case include 18 states, several cities, a few immigrants groups and the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs say the intent behind the addition of the citizen request was discriminatory.
The Commerce Department never tested the question before adding it to the census. That never happens, according to people who are familiar with how questions get added to the census. Ross added the question before the Department of Justice asked him to add it. Mr. Ross said it was taking too long to get a response from the Justice Department, so he added the question.