“The unprecedented proposal could have the effect of shifting both political power and billions of dollars in federal funds away from urban states with large immigrant populations,” The Texas Tribune reports, “and toward rural and more Republican interests.”
Some say unprecedented, the lower courts say illegal. Of course the worry now is that the Supreme Court that’s set to hear the case on Nov. 30 is drastically different than the Supreme Court that last year temporarily blocked officials from adding a citizenship question to the census. In that ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in that 5-4 decision. If Republicans now succeed in confirming Trump’s illegitimate nominee following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump could have the votes he needs to win.
However, NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang reports that because that question is missing, “it is not clear if Trump would practically be able to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the results of this year’s census.” But where there’s a racist will, there’s a racist way. The Washington Post does report that because the final apportionment numbers will be presented to legislators at the beginning of next year, “the new Congress or a new president could ask for revisions, or even request that a new census be conducted.”
It’s a conversation that folks should perhaps begin having, because the Trump administration’s sabotaging and shameless shenanigans have been as clear as a sunny day. Advocates and groups all across the nation have worked relentlessly to ensure their communities are counted, and their work can’t be discounted. That’s why if Democrats succeed in winning back full control of Congress and the White House next month, they should use all tools available to ensure everyone—everyone—is represented.
When it comes to prior court rulings, “President Trump has repeatedly tried—and failed—to weaponize the census for his attacks on immigrant communities,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “The Supreme Court rejected his attempt last year and should do so again. The legal mandate is clear—every single person counts in the census, and every single person is represented in Congress.”