Friday, July 12, 2019

Dropping One Evil Scheme For A Far Worse One

The Trump regime announced Thursday that it was giving up on the matter of putting a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, instead he announced a far more sinister plan to disenfranchise millions of black, Hispanic, young, and Democratic voters by using Census data to only count "eligible voters" for redistricting purposes.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is dropping his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, an abrupt reversal that came after Trump repeatedly insisted he would push ahead with trying to add the question.

Rather than add the question to the 2020 census, which will go to every household in America, Trump instructed other executive agencies to immediately provide all of their citizenship records to the Department of Commerce, which oversees the census. Census Bureau officials authored a memo last year arguing they could better collect citizenship data using existing government administrative records. 
Although the Trump administration has said since 2017 it needed the citizenship question for better enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, critics have long said that rationale is fake. At his Thursday announcement, Trump seemed to confirm that. He did not mention the Voting Rights Act and instead focused on how the data could be used to draw districts based only on the citizen voting-age population.

“Some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter eligible population. Indeed the same day the Supreme Court handed down the census decision, it also said it would not review certain types of districting decisions, which could encourage states to make such decisions based on voter eligibility,” he said.

“With today’s order, we will conduct all of the information we need in order to conduct an accurate census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress,” he added.

Congressional seats allocated to states and districts are drawn based on the total population, and switching to using only the citizen voting-age population would benefit non-Hispanic whites. States could still use citizenship data the Trump administration obtains through other means to draw districts this way.

In other words, under this plan, states would be free to create districts based on "eligible voters" rather than "people who live there." It would allow states to tailor districts to the point where even more Democratic voters could be packed into one district and leave the other districts in the state with a makeup that favors Republicans even more, because they'd be using actual voter data to do it.

In other words, they've dropped the pretense and are now directly advocating using state eligibility formulas to make new hyper-gerrymandered districts to harm Democrats.  The situation in Ohio, where Democrats won half the vote but have only 4 of 16 districts, or North Carolina, where Democrats actually got a majority of the House votes but 3 of 13 districts, will now become the new normal. 

Imagine NC Democrats getting another majority of total House votes but only two Democratic Representatives out of 13.  The Supreme Court just ruled that's okay and that the federal courts have no business interfering in that.

Imagine Texas, which could have as many as 40 Congressional districts in 2022, with Democrats getting something like 48%-50% of the House vote, but only having 8-10 Democrats.  Imagine Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, all gerrymandering one or two Democrats right out of their districts on a new permanent basis.

It would be a permanent 20-seat shift to the GOP.  Maybe more.

That's the point.

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