Trump Will Take Executive Action on Census Citizenship Question, Defying Supreme Court

Erika Holt
July 12, 2019

(Washington Examiner) Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Justice Department has a new legal strategy for adding a question about citizenship status onto the 2020 census, according to a new report.

The inaccurate claims have spread widely online since the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against the Trump administration in its push to add the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 form.

The administration's attempts to add the question had been blocked in the courts because of challenges from some US states and civil rights groups.

Trump said last week that he may issue an executive order to add the question, telling reporters that there are "a number of different avenues" for the administration to pursue.

DOJ informed a federal judge in Maryland on Friday that the administration is still exploring ways to add the controversial question and that they haven't been able to provide a new rationale for doing so after the high court raised questions about the justification for the query.

Pelosi went on to call the citizenship question "disgraceful". Demographers, including at the government's Census Bureau, fear that non-citizen immigrants in the US will not fill out the census forms out of fear of identifying themselves as being in the country without documentation and opening themselves up to deportation. Further efforts by the White House to add the question makes it clear that they are trying to turn the census into a partisan issue, he added.

The federal judge overseeing the census case in the Southern District of NY has blocked the government's motion to withdraw its team of lawyers who had been working on the case previously.

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But two federal judges rejected the switch in the government's legal team, saying it could not do so without satisfactorily explaining why. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, formally approved adding the question past year after pressuring Commerce officials for months to find a way to include the question. Multiple legal battles over the question are still playing out in lower courts.

The Economist survey asked: "Do you think the federal government should or should not ask people whether they are American citizens as part of the 2020 census?". But the Supreme Court questioned whether that reason was contrived.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had said he was adding the citizenship question in response to a request from the DOJ for better citizenship data to assist in its enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Fox News Radio's Guy Benson sat down with Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano to make some sense out of the left's outrage over this.

Following that decision, the Justice and Commerce Departments announced last week that they were dropping any renewed effort to add the citizenship question.

The American Civil Liberties Union's Dale Ho says the Trump administration's ongoing efforts are "unlawful".

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