Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

DOJ announces legal team shift over citizenship question on 2020 census

DOJ announces legal team shift over citizenship question on 2020 census

The government had asked US District Judge George Hazel, in Greenbelt, Maryland, to put the discrimination case on ice until the administration decides whether to renew its legal campaign to add the question following last week's Supreme Court decision that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave "contrived" rationales for the plan that flouted policy-making requirements.

James Burnham, the current deputy attorney general in the DOJ's civil division and former White House lawyer, will no longer be heading the department's efforts in the census case.

"The Attorney General appreciates that service, thanks them for their work on these important matters, and is confident that the new team will carry on in the same exemplary fashion as the cases progress", the statement continues.

Friday evening, the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge in NY to permanently block the administration from adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Political districts have been drawn based on total population, rather than citizen population, the Wall Street Journal points out.

A high USA immigration official said Sunday he's confident that the Trump administration will add the citizenship quiz to the 2020 census after their effort to achieve so was as soon as shot down by the Supreme Courtroom. The relevant legal question, moving forward, is therefore whether Secretary Ross and the Trump administration can proffer a non-Voting Rights Act enforcement legal justification that would persuade the relevant denizens of our "least risky branch" that the citizenship question's inclusion is wholly proper - and ideally, even necessary. The Justice Department, unsurprisingly, was unable to provide a different rationale for adding the question, as the Supreme Court has insisted is necessary to successfully and legally do so.

Ian Bassin, the president and executive director of the liberal nonprofit Protect Democracy Project (PDP), said the proposed citizenship question for the 2020 US census is an attempt to institutionalize "white power".

Hazel had expressed mounting frustration with the mixed signals the administration was sending, first telling him on Tuesday that the question was off only to have Trump tweet the next day that the administration was "absolutely moving forward" with efforts to include the question.

Canada's census questionnaires enjoy integrated citizenship questions since 1901.

The latest step was an all-but-unprecedented swap of the lawyers who have been arguing Trump's position in court - a shift that officials ascribed to ethical and legal concerns at the legal team essentially being required to contradict their previous representations in light of Trump's decision to prolong the clash.

Amid Trump's fight to save the citizenship question, more evidence about why his administration wanted to include it and if the reason was to discriminate could be unveiled in proceedings Hazel has ordered.

On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that the administration has not given up on including the citizenship question. Supreme Court ruling last month temporarily blocking it. Court documents show that officials in the Justice and Commerce departments would be subject to questioning under oath if the discovery process moves forward as planned. "I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the president has tweeted", Gardner said. "But, obviously, as you can imagine, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what's going on".

"That's another place where you'll probably see a contempt action on the part of the House of Representatives on the Trump administration", she said.

"We're focused on doing that, now we have four or five systems we are able to achieve it, it is one of many systems we're focused on doing it very seriously", Trump said when requested in regards to the employ of an government recount to add the quiz.

Like this: