New documents reveal the Trump administration based its census citizenship question on advice from a GOP strategist who concocted it to disadvantage Democrats.
There's no hiding it anymore: The Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census was a clear ploy to rig elections by disadvantaging Democrats.
New documents emerged in a legal filing on Thursday that show a now-deceased GOP strategist who helped orchestrate Republicans' last round of gerrymandering played a major role in the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the census, the New York Times reported.
Hofeller's previously undisclosed role is a major deal because he conducted a 2015 study in which he concluded that a citizenship question on the census "would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats" and is "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."
"Democratic districts could geographically expand to absorb additional high Democratic precincts from adjacent Republican districts, strengthening the adjoining GOP districts," Hofeller wrote in the 2015 study.
The documents also reveal that the strategist, Dr. Thomas Hofeller, "helped ghostwrite" a letter from the Department of Justice that asked for the citizenship question to be added to the census — the decennial population count that states use to apportion congressional districts.
Opponents are currently suing the Trump administration over the citizenship question, arguing that the addition of the question — which asks all respondents whether they are U.S. citizens — would scare as many as 6.5 million people from responding, leading to an inaccurate count that would dilute the power of Hispanic voters.
Hofeller's study proves the census question opponents were right that the Trump administration wants to add the question to cheat in order to give Republicans more power.
It's currently unclear whether the Trump administration will be able to add the citizenship question to the census. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments around the citizenship question, and it is set to rule on whether the Trump administration can use the question before the Court's term expires at the end of June.
During oral arguments, the conservative majority on the Court appeared poised to allow the Trump administration to add the question to the census. But it's unclear how the new revelations about Hofeller's role will impact their ruling.
However, if the Supreme Court lets the question stand, it will show that the conservative majority on the Court condones the GOP's cheating. That's a terrifying thought.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.