Thursday, November 21, 2019
banner
Home /  United States  /  Trump on track for SC victory on census question

Trump on track for SC victory on census question

Trump on track for SC victory on census question

Reuters
WASHINGTON
The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Tuesday appeared poised to hand President Donald Trump a victory on his administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a move opponents call a Republican effort to deter immigrants from taking part.
Conservative justices signaled during arguments in the closely watched case a willingness to overturn a lower court ruling that blocked the question and appeared untroubled by the administration’s stated justification for using the citizenship question in the decennial population count. Their liberal counterparts expressed hostility toward allowing the question.
The court has a 5-4 conservative majority and has backed Trump in other high-profile cases. Conservative justices indicated a citizenship question would be eminently reasonable, noting that other countries use such questions and that the United States has done so in the past in one form or another.
Among the conservative justices indicating support for the administration’s stance were Trump’s two appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts, considered the court’s pivotal vote.
Opponents have said the question would cause a sizeable undercount by frightening immigrant households and Latinos from filling out the census forms, fearful that the information would be shared with law enforcement. This would cost Democratic-leaning areas electoral representation in Congress and federal aid, benefiting Trump’s fellow Republicans and Republican-leaning parts of the country, they said.
The census is used to allot seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and distribute some $800 billion in federal funds.
Lower courts ruled that the administration violated federal law and the U.S. Constitution in seeking to include the question on the census form. A ruling by the Supreme Court is due by the end of June.
During about 80 minutes of arguments, Roberts and other conservative justices appeared to accept the administration’s argument that the question would yield better data to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects eligible voters from discrimination.
Roberts told New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, whose state sued to block the question, that citizenship data is critical for enforcing the Voting Rights Act and said it was “quite common” for the census to capture demographic details.
Kavanaugh said it is a “very common question” internationally, and that federal law gives Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department includes the Census Bureau, “huge discretion” in how the survey is conducted.

POST A COMMENT