A third federal judge has now blocked President Donald Trump’ effort to put a racist citizenship question on the 2020 Census, stacking the deck against a scheme that Trump intends to use against undocumented immigrants and blue states.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg became the second judge to throw a wrench in Trump’s plan.
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According to NPR:
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of California found that the administration’s decision to add the question violated administrative law.
The judge also ruled that it was unconstitutional because it prevents the government from carrying out its mandate to count every person living in the U.S. every 10 years.
“In short, the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census threatens the very foundation of our democratic system — and does so based on a self-defeating rationale,” Seeborg wrote.
His ruling followed a similar one by a federal judge in New York after a lawsuit was filed against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, although that judge did not find enough evidence that adding the question discriminates against Latinos.
And now a third federal judge, U.S. District Judge George Hazel of Maryland is also blocking the question based on administrative grounds.
“The unreasonableness of Defendants’ addition of a citizenship question to the Census is underscored by the lack of any genuine need for the citizenship question, the woefully deficient process that led to it, the mysterious and potentially improper political considerations that motivated the decision and the clear pretext offered to the public,” Hazel wrote in his decision.
So all three federal judges agree that Trump’s Commerce Department violated administrative law by trying to add the question to the 2020 Census.
Clearly, Trump intends to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, but the rulings against him indicate that this is a fight he can only win if the conservative judges on the high court decide he can flout administrative law. If they do their jobs responsibly, he loses.
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