The conservatives on the Supreme Court looked likely to uphold the citizenship question on the Census, which could undercount the population by 6.5 million and take power away from Democratic areas.
Trump's quest to further rig the political system to benefit Republicans got another boost on Tuesday, when the conservative justices on the Supreme Court looked likely to uphold his administration's racist citizenship question on the 2020 Census, according to multiple Supreme Court reporters who followed oral arguments in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York.
The Trump administration wants to ask Census respondents if they are citizens of the United States. Experts say this could lead to as many as 6.5 million people being left out of the the constitutionally mandated count of the U.S. population because immigrants would fear being targeted by the Trump administration if they reveal their immigrant status — as the Trump administration has adopted virulently racist and anti-immigrant policies.
And excluding millions of people from the population count would mostly hurt Democrats, whose voters are concentrated in urban areas and in states with large immigrant populations such as California and New York. Given that House seats are apportioned based on the Census count, undercounting residents in urban areas and traditionally Democratic states could cause those places to lose House seats and take away Democratic representatives.
For example, the Washington Post reported that an undercount on the Census could cost the heavily Democratic California as many as three House seats.
Already, Republican legislatures in states across the country have voted to strip duly elected Democratic officials of their power, and have begun to institute voting changes that are intended to disenfranchise minority and youth voters who break heavily toward Democrats.
The lawsuit against the citizenship question showed that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — a fierce anti-immigrant crusader — lobbied Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add the question to the Census.
Career Census Bureau officials were opposed to the question as they feared it would lead to the undercount, but Ross added it anyway, according to USA Today.
Ross has since tried to avoid congressional inquiry into his reasoning for adding the question, refusing to testify before Congress.
Of course, it's possible the Supreme Court could rule against the administration and block the citizenship question from the Census.
However, reporters who followed Tuesday's oral arguments said the conservative justices on the court — two of whom were appointed by Trump — looked poised to allow the question to stand.
If the Supreme Court allows the citizenship question to go forward, it would be the latest successful GOP effort to help solidify their minority rule.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.