• President Finds Work-Around for Census Question — but Did He Push Hard Enough?

    Daily Surge Summary: President Trump has found a way to obtain citizenship information in spite of the Supreme Court’s decision opposing his census plan — but should he have challenged their ruling anyway?

    A huddle of deep-thinkers has once again exemplified what I believe was Thomas Sowell’s maxim that “some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.” The Supreme Court has refused to allow a question on the upcoming United States census asking a person if he/she is a citizen of said nation.

    The President’s common sense response in a recent Rose Garden announcement could accordingly be rated up there with such revelations as “Water is wet” and “The sun rises in the East”.  He said,

    “It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and non-citizens that make up the U.S. populations.” [One News Now/Associated Press]

    Trump further insisted he was “not backing down”.

    Trump had said last week that he was “very seriously” considering an executive order to try to force the question. But the government has already begun the lengthy and expensive process of printing the census questionnaire without it, and such a move would surely have drawn an immediate legal challenge.

    Instead, Trump proclaimed Thursday that he would be opting for an executive order play which will task every federal department and agency to provide the Commerce Department with all the information they have pertaining to the number of citizens and noncitizens in the country.

    Late Thursday, Justice Department lawyers sent a copy of the executive order to the judge presiding over a challenge to the citizenship question in Manhattan federal court, saying they will confer with lawyers for the plaintiffs to see how to proceed in the case.

    Contained in Trump’s order is the statement that the Supreme Court

    “has now made it impossible, as a practical matter, to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire.”

    “After examining every possible alternative, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce have informed me that the logistics and timing for carrying out the census, combined with delays from continuing litigation, leave no practical mechanism for including the question on the 2020 decennial census[,]” [said Mr. Trump.]

    The Chief Executive deserves an “Atta boy” for arriving at an imaginative and apparently constitutionally legitimate work-around to this court-imposed obstacle. Some believe, however, he should, on principle, have pursued a challenge to the Supremes’ finding anyway while simultaneously proceeding with this alternative solution.

    It will be a positive development should the end result of this series of events be a fuller, more informed understanding of those in the United States who are citizens, legal residents or illegal immigrants. But what precedent does this high-court finding set for future developments on the immigration front? The president should press to uncover that.

    Image: Adapted from: Gage Skidmore <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/43627503520″>Donald Trump</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>


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