Lawless Criminals

Trump has ordered the US Census not to count illegal immigrants, in yet another attempt to corrupt the census for partisan purposes.

Given that the Supreme Court has already ruled against his putting a citizenship question on the tally, in Dept of Commerce v. New York, and the same 5 votes that ruled against him in that case are still on the court, and they ruled against him because he and his Secretary of Commerce lied to them.

I think that either

  • He is hoping that Ginsberg is going to die soon.
  • He is hoping that the wheels of justice will grind slowly enough to allow Republican states to gerrymander extremely enough to skew the house for most of the next decade.

This is truly contemptible.

Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Tuesday instructing the US Census Bureau to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population totals that determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. It’s an unprecedented move that seems to be an attempt to preserve white political power.

The American Civil Liberties Union said immediately that it would sue and the action is likely to be met with a flood of legal challenges. The Trump administration appears to be on shaky legal ground – the US constitution requires seats in Congress to be apportioned based on the “whole number of persons” counted in each state during each decennial census. The constitution vests Congress with power over the census (though Congress has since designated some of that authority to the executive).

Republicans in recent years have been pushing to exclude non-citizens and other people ineligible to vote from the tally used to draw electoral districts. In 2015, Thomas Hofeller, a top Republican redistricting expert, explicitly wrote that such a change “would be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites”.

The White House memo, titled “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census,” argues that the term “person” in the constitution really means “inhabitant” and that the president has discretion to define what that means. The memo also argues that allowing undocumented people to count rewards states with high numbers of undocumented people.

“My administration will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country unlawfully, because doing so would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government,” Trump said in a statement. “Just as we do not give political power to people who are here temporarily, we should not give political power to people who should not be here at all.”

This is so deeply and profoundly venal and corrupt that it actually exceeds my already low expectations.

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