News

State leaders hail decision to drop census citizenship question

Decision comes nearly a week after U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked Trump administration's plan to add question

President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday dropped its plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, a decision a local state assemblyman lauded as a "huge victory."

The action came in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week in which the panel by a 5-4 vote said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's stated reason for including the question — allegedly to aid voting rights enforcement — "seems to have been contrived."

The high court said the agency could not include the question unless it was supported by a reasoned explanation.

The decision to drop the question was confirmed by the Commerce Department, which conducts the once-a-decade population count.

Ross said in a statement, "I respect the Supreme Court but strongly disagree with its ruling. ... The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question.

"My focus, and that of the bureau and the entire department, is to conduct a complete and accurate census," Ross said.

A total of six lawsuits challenging the question were filed by states, cities, counties and organizations in federal courts in California, New York and Maryland.

They argued that including the question would result in an unfair undercount of noncitizens and Hispanics by discouraging them from participating in the census. Census population counts are used to determine legislative districts and amounts of federal funding.

In all six cases, federal trial judges issued preliminary injunctions blocking the use of the question. The Supreme Court ruled in two New York cases.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, stated, "We celebrate a foundational principle of our democracy: that everyone counts. California, like many others, fought to protect our people, our values, and our resources."

San Francisco participated in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York by 18 states led by the state of New York, the District of Columbia and 14 cities and counties.

State Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, said in a statement that the decision "is a huge victory for all of California's 40 million residents. California is a big, beautiful, diverse state, and every Californian has the right to have their voice heard in the Census count."

The decision also "gives every Californian the confidence that they need to participate in the 2020 Census, which is critically important to their families and their communities," said Berman, who is the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Census.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Dale Ho, who represented a coalition of advocacy groups in the second lawsuit in New York, stated: "In light of the Supreme Court's ruling, the Trump administration had no choice but to proceed with printing the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question. Everyone in America counts in the census, and today's decision means we all will."

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Comments

51 people like this
Posted by Dave Ross
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jul 3, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Our President, in his wisdom, has identified the statements about forgoing the citizenship question from the DOJ and Commerce Department as "Fake News." So now this story officially belongs in the "fiction" category. At a minimum this unfolding story is a part of the "Survivor: White House" TV show.

It's one matter to have a Commander-in-Chief that is unhinged, and another matter altogether when the hinges themselves fall off. I've got my fingers crossed that this show will not have a sequel.


22 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"I've got my fingers crossed that this show will not have a sequel."

Got help us all if it does.


4 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 4, 2019 at 10:50 am

"Got help us all if it does."

But we get tanks in the capitol!!! Making us somehow great.


Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm

You are entitled to your own opinion on Donald Trump. He can be obnoxious, no doubt. But it strikes me as completely rational to count people who belong here versus those who don't. I wonder if Trump agreeing with something makes some people automatically oppose, no matter the actual logic of the issue.


16 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 4, 2019 at 10:44 pm

" But it strikes me as completely rational" to follow the Constitution.


11 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 4, 2019 at 10:46 pm

To follow the Constitution, and get the most accurate count possible.


1 person likes this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

The constitution does not prohibit the citizenship question. It was last on the census in 1950. The most accurate count would be counting everyone, and being able to differentiate illegal from legal residents.


18 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 9:47 am

The most accurate count would be counting everyone, correct.

This question suppresses the count.

Read the court transcripts from this week. Enlightening, also HUMOUROUS.


22 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

Quote:


U.S. District Judge George Hazel: this morning I saw a tweet that got my attention. I don’t know how many federal judges have Twitter accounts, but I happen to be one of them, and I follow the President, and so I saw a tweet that directly contradicted the position that Mr. Gardner had shared with me yesterday.

Uh-ohh.

More:

Judge Hazel: If you were Facebook and an attorney for Facebook told me one thing, and then I read a press release from Mark Zuckerberg telling me something else, I would be demanding that Mark Zuckerberg appear in court with you the next time because I would be saying I don’t think you speak for your client anymore.

.

Nice legal debate you have there, be a shame if your client was an idiot who didn't know when to shut the....


1 person likes this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2019 at 10:49 am

"This question suppresses the count."

Depends on the purpose of the count. I agree, an illegal immigrant would be reluctant to answer it.

One of the most important purposes (and, in fact, the most important purpose) of the census is for determining representation.

We should not be including illegal aliens in these determinations.


53 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

"The most accurate count would be counting everyone, correct."

Yep, the purpose of the Census IS to get the most accurate count. And it's been fascinating watching the right-and-white wing Republicans bend themselves into their pretzel logic trying to defend their racism.

The following are undeniably true:

1: A Textualist or Originalist reading of the Constitution makes it irrefutably clear that the Founding Fathers made a distinction between 'citizens' and 'persons'. They specified 'citizens' clearly when the rules applied to citizens, and they specified 'persons' clearly when the rules applied to persons. Smart people, those Founding Fathers were :)

The Constitution is remarkably clear on this matter. It's amusing to watch the right-wing Republican's ignorance on this topic, and their hypocrisy in ignoring a Textualist|Originalist reading of the constitution is stunning (yet not surprising). I thought good Republicans were suppose to be Constitutional Originalists? Turns out, they're Originalists only when their ox isn't being gored.


2: Decade after decade, across multiple administrations and parties (both Democrat and Republican), there has been agreement that questions like this suppress census count. And across multiple administrations and parties (both Democrat and Republican), this has historically been considered undesirable...until our current administration.


3: The Supreme Court already ruled on this. There's nothing to debate. The Administration lied about their purpose, and they got caught. Simple.


58 people like this
Posted by sullen zealots
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Read up - the question suppresses counts of many groups, per GOP documents submitted.

The census is used for many purposes beyond representation.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Why would groups other than illegal immigrants be afraid to answer whether they are citizens and therefore get suppressed?


42 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm

"Why would groups..."

Take the GOPs word for it - they were caught red-handed.

"Deceased G.O.P. Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question"

"Opponents said that the Justice Department’s rationale for seeking to add a citizenship question to the census was baldly contrived, a conclusion shared by federal judges in all three lawsuits opposing the administration’s action."


Have you not been following along?






6 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 1:31 pm

"a conclusion shared by federal judges in all three lawsuits opposing the administration’s action."

3 strikes usually means it's over, no?


9 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm

3 federal judges plus the Supreme Court.

What do these people have against the Constitution? Why are wasting the DOJ's time and money!

Well, besides the inherent racism.


14 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Jack wrote:
"Why would groups...be afraid to answer"

Using your own logic: What was the trump administration afraid to answer the reasoning behind adding the Census question? If their true reason was legally defensible, why be afraid to answer?

Your ox is being gored again...

The Constitution clearly states the Census should count all "Persons", not only "Citizens". If you have a problem with that, then change the Constitution.

Oh, and it would be helpful if you and people like you just admitted that Republican requirements for "Originalist" Constitutional interpretation is a fraud. You only want it when it serves your purpose, and you're devoid of any moral or ethical consistency on the matter.


4 people like this
Posted by Tiananmen Square West
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 3:57 pm

And today, Trump's DOJ virtually got laughed out of court, with the judge allowing discovery to continue.

Which is very bad for the racists.

Legal scholar: “It's almost unheard of for the federal govt to get slapped down this fast, this decisively.”


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