I am pleased that there was a move today to curtail one of those patently offensive measures concocted by the Trump White House. The Supreme Court delayed the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. That was a most appropriate response to a racially motivated move.
The attempt by Trump, and his 1930’s German-style aide, Stephen Miller, to add a citizenship question to the census would have a most undemocratic impact on American politics. The reason being our nation relies on population figures from the census to divvy up seats in the House of Representatives and to draw political maps at all levels of government. When those census numbers are crippled by fear another column of our political institutions comes under attack and strain.
The Census Bureau itself has said that adding a citizenship question would lead more non-citizens and minorities to avoid being counted. That is the key argument many have made, including here at CP. Most of those who would potentially not fill out the census reside in predominantly Democratic areas. Therefore the under-count would weaken Democratic representation in states with large numbers of non-citizens, and skew the allotment of billions of federal dollars away from those areas as well.
What was most noteworthy is the fact the Trump administration offered no credible reason for proposing the question. There was nothing for them to say. Miller wanted a racially motivated question to the constitutionally required census taking. Following the news today the administration would have to create a new rationale for adding the question and win the approval of a skeptical district court–a court is needs knowing which ruled that its stated reason for the question — to better enforce the Voting Rights Act was nothing more than a bald contrivance hiding some other motive.
That motive is right here. Stephen Miller.