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Not on form, but brawl over citizenship question continues

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    FILE - In this April 23, 2019 file photo, immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration’s plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, in Washington. The Department of Homeland Security is agreeing to share citizenship information with the U.S. Census Bureau. The agreement was made in response to President Donald Trump’s order to collect data on who is a citizen through administrative records following the Supreme Court’s rejection of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Published January 13. 2020 05:47AM

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a citizenship question won’t be on this spring’s census form, but that doesn’t mean the fight over it has ended in courtrooms across the country.

In Maryland, civil rights groups are trying to block an order from President Donald Trump to gather citizenship data through administrative records. In New York, other civil rights groups are seeking sanctions against Trump administration attorneys for not turning over documents related to the citizenship question’s origins. Democratic lawmakers in the District of Columbia are fighting for similar documents, and Alabama officials are suing the Census Bureau to keep immigrants living in the country illegally from being counted during the process that determines the number of congressional seats each state gets.

All of the lawsuits touch on whether the number of citizens, instead of the total population, will be used for redistricting or apportionment — the process of divvying up congressional seats among the states after the 2020 census. Opponents say doing so would dilute the influence of minorities and Democrats, which they argue was the true intent of the Trump administration’s desire to add a citizenship question in the first place.

The U.S. Constitution specifies that congressional districts should be based on how many people — not citizens — live there. But the legal requirements are murkier for state legislative districts.

“The country is changing demographically, and people in power believe that the only way to stay in power is to disadvantage minority voters,” said Andrea Senteno, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, one of the civil rights groups that sued Trump in the Maryland case. “What we’re seeing now is a reflection of that. It’s really about political power in the long term.”

Supporters of the question say the U.S. should know how many citizens there are.

“It’s important for us as a country to know how many people are citizens,” U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican from Georgia, said last week during a congressional hearing.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of a law that protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. But the high court said the administration’s justification for the question “seems to have been contrived.”

Opponents argued it would intimidate immigrants, Hispanics and others from participating in the once-a-decade head count that determines how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is allocated and how many congressional seats each state gets.

House Democrats investigating the citizenship question’s origins said a Trump transition adviser was in contact with an influential Republican redistricting guru, Thomas Hofeller, when the citizenship question was being drafted in 2017. Hofeller, who died in 2018, advocated using voting-age citizens, instead of the total population, as the population base for redistricting. In documents that surfaced after his death, he acknowledged his intent was to help Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.

In the District of Columbia, Democratic lawmakers sued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr for refusing to provide information for their investigation. The lawmakers say they need documents being withheld to determine whether Congress should take emergency action to protect the census from partisan political interference.

In New York, civil rights groups that helped win the Supreme Court case are seeking sanctions against Trump administration attorneys, saying they hid Hofeller’s role in concocting the citizenship question.

After the Supreme Court blocked the question, Trump issued an executive order for the Census Bureau to gather citizenship information through administrative records from federal agencies and the 50 states.

Gathering the citizenship data would give the states the option to design districts using voter-age citizen numbers instead of the total population, Trump said in his July order. A short time later, civil rights groups sued in federal court in Maryland, claiming the citizenship-data gathering was motivated by “a racially discriminatory scheme” to reduce the political power of Latinos and increase the representation of non-Latino whites.”

The civil rights groups said in court papers last week that members of the Trump administration “conspired to reduce the political power of people of color” by following Hofeller’s recommendation.

In Alabama, state officials and Republican U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks sued the Census Bureau to exclude people in the country illegally from being counted when determining congressional seats for each state. Their 2018 lawsuit claims Alabama stands to lose a seat if people living in the country illegally are included, diluting the state’s representation in the Electoral College.

Even though the citizenship question won’t be on the 2020 questionnaire, its opponents said plenty of damage has already been done. But Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said last month in an interview with The Associated Press that he doesn’t think the fight over citizenship will diminish participation.

“The citizenship question is over. We have experienced litigation, but I don’t think there’s any legacy to that,” Dillingham said. “We want to make sure that we reach everyone and that everyone gets counted.” ––––

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Comments
Community organizers pay people to get out and demonstrate over this or that. This fight hasn't even begun. Patriots are uniting, and we will not stand for the continued undermining of the voting process, which is what the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is involved in. It's chair, Raul P. Lomeli-Azoubel, has been linked to LaRaza, a radical left, Soros funded organization of racist and anti-American practices.
The Democrats love calling others Nazi's, but actually, La Raza’s goal is of a Latino/Chicano nationalist movement, and that is exactly what the Nazi movement in Germany was.
Why would we not want to know who's living in the shadows, and who's actually a citizen, when the data from the question influences elections?
Notice: how the very people that Bash this country are the same ones that want to be in MY county; it is always the attacking of the people who settled this country for the past hundreds of years who are vilified.

My ancestors fought in the Civil war, and all those wars thereafter and NONE of the free-loaders wanting to come in ever fought to save this country or the world.

We don’t need more Ariel Castros or Nader Hasans

#diversity SUXs, build the Wall, build the pipeline



Oh Mike, what do you feel about this post?

And Tony, wherever you are, this is called White Nationalism.

So what war did Trump’s family ever fight in Manometer?
I don't care that folks are coming, as we need a strong workforce, but they are here illegally, and they influence election process by not declaring citizenship status. Another example of the lawless left.
But its ok for the Wealthy that used them and still are using them for house keepers, gardeners, nanny's, masonry work, construction etc, etc. You know, people, some people that live in Washington D.C. for example.
Manometer -"Always attacking the people that settled this Country" and want to be in My country. Well, isn't that an interesting choice of words to use to defend your position.
White men pushed the original Americans Indians off of their land and destroyed the Native American Culture.
Enslaved Native Americans & Blacks help built Castillo de son Maros Fort in Florida
White men used the Slavery of Black people which increased
the U.S. Economy.
Black Slaves built the White House.
Black Slaves built the U.S. Capital.
Black Slaves built the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
Black Slaves built Wall Street in N.Y.
Black Slaves built Faneuil Hall in Boston.
Black Slaves built Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Black Slave Money used by the Slave owner who donated the money for Harvard.
Perhaps take a ride in your Ford 150 and listen to some
Music....I recommend Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf.
My brain is working just fine Levite/Mike. I left out the many lynching's and deaths of whites
who went down south to help fight during Civil Rights in the 60's. And of course the
White Men who wrote the Constitution where "all men are created equal" but only white men
with land could vote and Thomas Jefferson who owned many slaves (who built his Monticello) and the alleged rapes he did on his black slave women.
Everyone forgets the most important part about slavery. You know, the part where Black People sold Black Slaves! Our ancestors didn't go there and steal them. They were a commodity. Why are we still blaming whitey?
I’m sorry, how exactly is that “the most important part” of slavery? I kind of thought the most important part was the incredible human rights violations, abuse, rape murder but if you say that the ruling class of the African nations in the slave trade were involved I guess you must be right.
The cruelty of the Lynching's, and framing black men for rape and murder, but ya gotta love those Confederate Flags people still fly.
The Civil War is not over Manometer.
Folks like you will bring about the second civil war.
Let's remember how we ended slavery.
How about giving credit to the country that won two world wars?
We landed the first man on the moon, or do you think that was staged?
America was Great, is Great, and we'll keep it great, just stay out of our way.
I am right. I bet you think I'm wrong when I say we had white slaves too. It doesn't fit the liberal narrative so it's not true. Keep drinking the kool-aid and watching CNN. You probably think Qasem Soleimani was a good guy too. Moron.

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