While the nation has been obsessed with the President’s Fourth of July celebration and its humiliating aftermath, a hugely significant if much less clickbaitable battle has been playing out between the Supreme Court and the Trump’s Justice Department over the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
In an entirely predictable turn of events, it appears that the president and his team have given away the game and dropped their all cards on the table.
For weeks, the Trump administration has been trying to convince the Supreme Court that they need to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census in order to better enforce parts of the now-gutted 1965 Voting Rights Act, but three successive courts rejected this excuse as an obvious attempt to cover up for another agenda.
That agenda was made clear this morning when the President blurted out to the press that the citizenship question was needed for “Congress to do districting,” confirming the fears of progressive activists who correctly assumed that the census question addition was going to be used to tilt the map in favor of Republicans.
Ironically, the Justice Department has spent the past month trying to argue that this is *not* what they are trying to do…but once again, Trump’s most effective saboteur continues to be himself.
Trump's statement that they want the citizenship question for use in redistricting is awkward given that the Solicitor General told the Supreme Court the exact opposite a few weeks ago — the SG specifically said that was not their motive. pic.twitter.com/yv7UZquyeQ
— Daniel Jacobson (@Dan_F_Jacobson) July 5, 2019
Elsewhere, the Justice Department’s lawyers openly admitted that they were looking to find a new excuse after their last one was exposed as a “pretext,” likely in order to placate the President and his psychotic far-right wing puppetmasters at the Federalist Society.
Trump administration lawyers may have sabotaged his effort to rig the Census.
The lawyers wrote that they are looking for a "new rationale," after SCOTUS declared the last one a pretext.
That gives away the game, a legal expert tells me.
My new piece:https://t.co/gZoLJhYjOH
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 5, 2019
“The last thing you’d want to do if you were trying to convince the courts that your stated rationale is genuine is to tell a judge that you’re looking for a ‘new rationale’ to justify a policy decision you’ve already made. They are essentially telling the courts that whatever rationale they come back with, it will still be pretextual.”
Since the Trump team has given up all pretense at this not being an elaborate excuse to discriminate against minorities and undermine our democracy, a federal judge has decided to launch a discovery into the Trump team’s discriminatory intent and find evidence of their real, racist objective.
Federal judge not buying Trump Admin shenanigans on census. Discovery into discriminatory intent will now take place. It's almost unheard of for the federal govt to get slapped down this fast, this decisively. But it's entirely deserved when Admin treats our judiciary this way https://t.co/p6pBjToKOQ
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) July 5, 2019
If Trump and his far-right cronies get their way, undocumented Americans might not participate in the census, dramatically misrepresenting the number of people living in certain areas and affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the allotment of federal funding for social services.
But instead of Trump getting a major win, it’s starting to look like his administration is going to be publicly outed as racist (again) and dealt a humiliating defeat.