Tuesday, July 2, 2019

It Doesn't Make Census

One of the Trump regime's arguments for telling the Supreme Court two weeks ago to ignore actual law, to simply defer to the government, and to make a summary judgment on the question of citizenship on the 2020 Census was that the government needed to start printing Census questionnaire forms no later than yesterday, July 1.

Of course, now that SCOTUS has ruled that the regime's argument is baloney, suddenly that July 1 deadline has been missed, and now the Trump regime is blaming the courts for the inevitable delay in the Census.

The Trump administration appears to have missed its own deadline Monday to start the printing of paper forms and other mailings that will play a key role in next year's constitutionally mandated head count of every person living in the U.S.

As of Monday evening, the 2020 census materials did not appear to have been officially approved by the White House's Office of Management and Budget for printing, according to a website tracking OMB's review process.

In another sign that production has not begun, Justice Department attorneys told a federal judge in Maryland on Monday that the administration has not reached a final decision on whether it will try to make another case in court for adding a hotly contested citizenship question to census forms.

U.S. District Judge George Hazel, who is presiding over recently reopened lawsuits over the question, has agreed to hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday, plaintiffs' attorneys Denise Hulett of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Shankar Duraiswamy of Covington & Burling tell NPR.

The delay in printing 1.5 billion paper census mailings could throw a wrench into a tightly wound timetable of final preparations for the 2020 census. The count is scheduled to begin officially in January in rural Alaska before rolling out to the rest of the country by April.

On Monday, President Trump said that his administration is continuing to look "very strongly" at delaying the census. Hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision last week to keep the citizenship question temporarily blocked, Trump tweeted that he wants to wait until the court has more time and information to "make a final and decisive decision."

Asked why it's so important to add a citizenship question, Trump said Monday from the Oval Office, "I think it's very important to find out if somebody is a citizen as opposed to an illegal."

Even Chief Justice Roberts said the Trump regime's argument that they were "only enforcing the Voting Rights Act" was totally contrived and dismissed it. It doesn't mean that the Trumpies can't come up with a better argument that he can feel good about, but for now, the scheme is as plain as day.

Besides, the Trump regime is required by law to start the actual Census counting by April 1, so we'll see how that goes.

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