Just a gentle reminder that the true bill for the "principled opposition" to Hillary Clinton comes due starting Monday.
The U.S. Supreme Court, approaching the end of its current term, is due to issue rulings in the coming days in major cases including the Trump administration’s bid to add a contentious citizenship question to the 2020 census and efforts by voters to curb the partisan manipulation of electoral district boundaries.
The court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority, has 12 cases left to decide during its current term, which began in October and is expected to conclude by the end of June, with some rulings scheduled to be issued on Monday.
Eagerly awaited rulings in legal challenges to the proposed census question and a practice called partisan gerrymandering could have enduring effects on elections for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures.
Critics have called the move by President Donald Trump’s Commerce Department to add a citizenship question to the census a Republican scheme to deter immigrants from taking part in the population count for fear of deportation. The aim, these critics have said, is to engineer a deliberate undercount of places with high immigrant and Latino concentrations, costing Democratic-leaning areas seats in the House to the benefit of Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.
The justices are hearing the administration’s appeal of a judge’s January ruling in New York blocking the question as a violation of a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act. Two other courts subsequently blocked the question. During April’s argument in the case, the court’s conservative majority appeared to be inclined to rule in favor of Trump.
The administration has argued that adding a question requiring people participating in the decennial population tally to declare whether they are a citizen is needed to better enforce a voting rights law, a rationale that opponents called a pretext for a political motive.
A group of states including New York and immigrant rights organizations sued to prevent the question.
Separate cases from North Carolina and Maryland focus on whether the justices will empower courts to impose restrictions on partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which electoral districts are drawn purely to amplify the political power of the party already in control of a state’s legislature.
If, as I expect, both these rulings are 5-4 in favor of the conservatives on the Roberts Court, then tens of millions of people will eventually be disenfranchised in order to give the Republican party near permanent power. Demographics as destiny means nothing if black and brown people lose the right to vote or to even exist in the country.
Of course, the people who three years ago said that they could afford to not vote for Hillary are the people who won't be hurt directly by SCOTUS this week, and in future Junes to come in the post-Kennedy Roberts Court era.
The rest of us get the bill starting tomorrow.