Questions as part of the coming census will include age, sex, ethnic origin, race, household relationship and if a housing unit is owned or rented. Reinstatement of the citizenship question will hang on the failure or success by Democrats to obstruct a Supreme Court vote.
President Donald Trump believes that “When a census goes out you have the right to ask whether or not someone is a citizen of the United States.” Democrats against the reinstatement of a citizenship question have bills in the House and in the Senate that would prohibit it.
Census results provide the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, congressional redistricting, electoral college votes, and the annual distribution of billions of dollars to states, counties and communities. The Constitution mandates a census every ten years.
A citizenship question was in the census until 1950 when two census forms were initiated; a short and a long form. From 1970 to 2000 a question regarding citizenship remained in the long form.
In 2010, President Barack Obama removed it. Trump wants it reinstated.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the reinstatement by the end of June, in time to have a resolution for the 2020 census. California and other states sued to block reinstatement. States with large immigrant populations fret that congressional seats and federal funding will be impacted.
Leftist groups assaulting the citizenship question include The Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, Muslim Advocates, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, National Association of Latino officials, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, several unions, and 124 more organizations. Declarations propose that a citizenship question is racially discriminatory.
Fearing that the Supreme Court would vote for reinstatement, outrageous political delay tactics from the House Oversight and Reform Committee are led by Congressman Elijah Cummings. He demands Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross provide additional testimony and secured documents. He issued contempt citations on each of them. Democrats hope to run out the clock on the Supreme Court’s ability to vote in a timely manner.
Trump invoked Executive Privilege to block Cummings heinous “slow the process” tactics. If he succeeds, the Supreme Court decision will be postponed, and the time frame will have passed.
President Lyndon Johnson signed The Voting Rights Act into law in 1965, with a goal to overcome legal barriers that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. There have been amendments; but the major premise remains: to ensure there are no legal barriers preventing American citizens from voting.
Only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote. To enforce the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department needs to know how many eligible citizens exist and where they live.
States with large immigrant populations claim that asking about citizenship will frighten people to avoid filling out census forms. The Census Bureau is legally bound to confidentiality, and cannot share respondents answers with anyone — not the IRS, the FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security or any government agency.
Congressional seats are not assigned by the number of citizens, but by the number of residents. Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and others have high numbers of congressional seats due to large citizen and non-citizen populations. Non-citizen residents are counted in the census which could result in more congressional seats.
If there are fewer voters in a district than citizens eligible to vote, it could be a case for voter suppression under the Voter Rights Act. If there are more registered voters in a district than there are U.S. citizens, that could cause concerns of voter fraud.
In either case, the Justice Department must have citizen census numbers in order to make an informed determination.
Political acrimony is being used to prevent the 2020 census from determining how many residents of this country are U.S. citizens. In this, the left is on a fool’s errand.
Darlene Casella is a former English teacher, stockbroker and owner/president of a small corporation. She lives in California and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.