Judge Rules Against 2020 Census Citizenship Question

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIt seems that U.S. President Donald Trump just cannot get his way with the courts. New York District Court Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled that the Trump administration cannot re-insert a question about a person’s U.S. citizenship because this would violate an applicant’s privacy. The question asking a person if they were a U.S. citizen had in fact been on the U.S. Census form up until 1950 when it had been removed. The Trump administration had put the question back on the 2020 Census form because it claims that it can better enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, Judge Furman noted that the administration has been less than honest about the reasons why this question had been put back on the Census forms, and that legal permanent residents who had challenged this re-insertion of the U.S. citizenship question contend that the Trump administration was trying to in fact intimidate people in the United States—whether they be legal residents or undocumented—from answering the U.S. Census form.

That I think is the crux of the issue—the Trump administration has been less than honest with the American public. Almost every court case brought against Trump has been on the contention that his administration has either not told the entire truth or has some hidden agenda or has not looked into all legal ramifications of whatever executive orders it has issued. This has been in just about every court challenge brought against whatever decisions Trump or people in his administration have made. According to Judge Furman, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had arbitrarily added this question to the U.S. Census without following federal law to give the U.S. Congress three years prior notice for the change in the Census forms. The chances are now that almost all other higher courts will follow this reasoning in one form or another. There is no question that Trump will appeal this decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that he will do all he can to overturn this. The U.S. Supreme Court has already indicated an interest in the case. But it seems that Trump has not learned an important lesson, or does not care to. He has lost almost every court case brought against him. Perhaps Trump and his people should learn to do their legal homework better—a basic requirement in Law 101.

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