In wake of SCOTUS ruling on citizenship question for census, Trump makes reasonable proposal: ‘Let’s wait’

By Jon Dougherty

(NationalSentinel) President Trump on Thursday blasted as “ridiculous” the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to send a lawsuit over adding a question about citizenship on the 2020 census back to the lower courts for clarification but didn’t just let the issue die.

The president, who is attending the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, made an entirely reasonable, though constitutionally cloudy, suggestion: Let’s just wait until the issue can be decided.

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“Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

“I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the…United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!” he added.

While that, by no means, is an unreasonable request given the circumstances, it’s not clear if it’s permissible.

Per the Constitution, the U.S. Census must be conducted every decade; 2020 is the next 10-year period in which the Census must be taken.

According to reports, the Census Bureau, which falls under the Commerce Department, has already fashioned its questionnaire and is set to send it to contractors for production so that the forms will be ready for census takers by Jan. 1.

Can it be…delayed? That may depend on for how long. And that would, in and of itself, likely involve another court challenge if the president ordered a delay (which would, by default, accomplish the president’s objective of delaying the census until the original lawsuit against adding the citizenship question, which was brought by the state of New York, is settled).

Then again, the issue of whether the government can even add the question to the Census has, in essence, already been answered.

As we reported Thursday, a majority of justices agreed that it is, indeed, constitutional to add the citizenship question to the Census. It is within Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ authority to do so. That much we know.

But thanks to Chief Justice John “No, the court isn’t politicized” Roberts, the case is being sent back to a lower federal court because, in essence, Ross’ department didn’t justify the question well enough. Or something like that.

The high court’s constitutional wing summed up perfectly why this case should be over and why the question should be added if that’s what the Trump administration wants to do.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch argued in their dissent the Supreme Court’s only role was to determine whether Ross was breaking the law by including a question about citizenship; and a majority on the court found he did not break the law in doing so.

“The  Court’s erroneous decision, in this case, is bad enough, as it unjustifiably interferes with the 2020 census.  But the implications of today’s decision are broader.  With today’s decision,  the Court has opened a Pandora’s box of pretext-based challenges in administrative law,” they wrote.

“In short, today’s decision is a departure from traditional principles of administrative law.  Hopefully, it comes to be understood as an aberration—a ticket good for this day and this train only,” they continued.

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“Because the Secretary’s decision to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census was legally sound and a reasoned exercise of his broad discretion, I respectfully dissent from Part V of the opinion of the Court,” they concluded.

Will the president’s very reasonable request be honored? Can we delay this thing just long enough to satisfy John Roberts? It’s certainly worth it to find out.

After all, we’ll have to wait until 2030 to find out just how many people are in our country illegally.

And the president is right: That is a question a superpower should be able to answer.

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1 Comment on "In wake of SCOTUS ruling on citizenship question for census, Trump makes reasonable proposal: ‘Let’s wait’"

  1. It’s not that hard. Illegal aliens are not citizens and the damn question shouldn’t be on the census. Next !

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