Things That Matter

Minority Communities Can Breathe A Little Easier, For Now, As The Supreme Court Blocks Citizenship Question From 2020 Census

The Supreme Court at least temporarily blocked a citizenship question from the 2020 census Thursday, avoiding a change that experts say could lead to a major undercount of many states with large immigrant communities and far-reaching ramifications for federal funding and political clout.

News broke that the US Supreme Court has voted not to allow the racist citizenship question on next year’s census.

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In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal members of the court in ruling that the Trump administration’s explanation for adding the question to the census — to improve compliance with the Voting Rights Act — did not hold water. At the same time, Roberts and the more conservative members rejected the argument that a citizenship question is inherently unconstitutional.

The justices upheld a lower court decision demanding more explanation from the Commerce Department, which means the question will be blocked unless the administration can provide a more satisfactory explanation for its motives.

And it turns out that Justice Roberts, a conservative, voted with the Liberal justices to block the questions.

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However, many pointed out that he sided with the conservatives justices in their dissent on the citizenship question not being inherently wrong or illegal.

He only sided with the Liberals, many say, as a reminder to Trump to basically learn how to lie better to provide the court the cover it needs to enact the president’s racist agenda.

The decision comes just days before a June 30 deadline set by the Census Bureau, after which it said it needs to start printing the census forms. But if that deadline is extended, the administration could have more time to provide a new explanation and get the question on the census.

However, the threat to minority communities isn’t over yet.

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Legal challengers in the case have said the administration’s reasons were the opposite – to dilute minority representation – and they said additional evidence has come to light recently that supports their claims.

A Maryland federal judge this week said that evidence, which came from the files of a GOP political consultant who died last year, “potentially connects the dots between a discriminatory purpose – diluting Hispanics’ political power – and Secretary Ross’s decision.”

The evidence wasn’t directly before the Supreme Court when it took up the case, though it has received additional legal filings from both sides in recent weeks. New lower court proceedings are pending, though it isn’t clear what impact, if any, those will have after the high court’s ruling.

Many took to Twitter to point the Trump Administration is already using other methods to undercount Latinos, refugees, and other minority groups.

Credit: @RepKarenBass / Twitter

States like California could actually lose seats in the House of Representatives along with billions of dollars in federal funding. The threat to our communities is very real.

So how did we get here?

It’s been a long and complicated road to this US Supreme Court decision.

Reactions on Twitter to the breaking news have been swift.

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Many were happy to see the court making a decision based on law and not partisan politics. Others were just glad to have a bit more time for the lower courts to address the shocking allegations of a conspiracy related to the citizenship question.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder had some thoughts on the case as well…

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Obama’s former Attorney General also pointed out the suspicious origins of the citizenship question after recent documents came to light.

There’s no word yet on whether or not the Trump Administration is going to pursue other legal avenues to get the question on the 2020 Census.

READ: The 2020 Census Will Include A Question Asking About Citizenship And It Will Be Disastrous For Our Community

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