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Barr sees a legal way to ask about citizenship on census

Published July 09. 2019 12:48PM

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (AP) — Attorney General William Barr said Monday he sees a way to legally require 2020 census respondents to declare whether or not they are citizens, despite a Supreme Court ruling that forbade asking the question.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said the Trump administration will take action in the coming days that he believes will allow the government to add the controversial census query. Barr would not detail the plans, though a senior official said President Donald Trump is expected to issue a memorandum to the Commerce Department instructing it to include the question on census forms.

The Supreme Court recently blocked the question, at least temporarily, saying the administration’s justification “seems to have been contrived.” That was a blow to Trump, who has been pressing for the government to demand information about citizenship.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s experts have said requiring such information would discourage immigrants from participating in the survey and result in a less accurate count. That in turn would redistribute money and political power away from Democratic-led cities where immigrants tend to cluster to whiter, rural areas where Republicans do well.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Trump wants to add the demand for citizenship information because he wants to “make America white again.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is replacing the legal team that has been pursuing Trump’s efforts, putting in place a new team consisting of both career and politically appointed attorneys.

The new team, named in court papers, includes Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Morrell, a former Trump White House lawyer and law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas; Christopher Bates, who previously worked for Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, and four career Justice Department attorneys, Glenn Girdharry, Colin Kisor, Christopher Reimer and Daniel Schiffer.

James Burnham, a top lawyer in the department’s civil division who had been leading the team, had told Barr that a number of people who had been litigating the case preferred “not to continue during this new phase,” the attorney general said.

The new team may find it easier to argue the administration’s new position, said an administration official, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment for attribution.

Barr said he didn’t have details on why the attorneys didn’t want to continue, but “as far as I know, they don’t think we are legally wrong.”

Barr said he has been in regular contact with Trump over the issue of the citizenship question.

“I agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong,” the attorney general said.

He said he believes there is “an opportunity potentially to cure the lack of clarity that was the problem and we might as well take a shot at doing that.”

The Trump administration has argued that it wanted the question included to aid in enforcing the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. But Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal members in last month’s Supreme Court decision, openly skeptical about that justification.

It’s unclear what new rationale for asking the question the administration might include in a presidential memorandum.

Barr said the change in attorneys working on the issue came about after Burnham approached him and “indicated it was a logical breaking point since a new decision would be made and the issues going forward would hopefully be separate from the historical debates.”

Citizenship is not a criteria that is legal to consider in redistricting, the primary function of the census. According to Article one Section two the census is to count everyone residing in an area, not just citizens. This is further affirmed in the census act and settled as precedence by SCOTUS in Evenwel v. Abbott in 2016.

Trump has admitted publicly that the sole purpose of the citizenship question is to eliminate non-citizens from the counts. This is an unconstitutional attempt to decrease representation in minority and urban areas.

SCOTUS recent ruling agreed with Congress that the question would intimidate non-citizens into not responding to the census and thus produce an inaccurate count. They rejected DOJ lawyers arguments as contrived and those lawyers involved are on record saying they were put in an "untenable" situation by trump. As a result Barr found new lawyers to try again. This is a waste of time.

If you do not like this, then start a petition to amend the constitution. Call your representatives. But don't support the executive branch trying to usurp the control our Forefathers gave to congress. What Barr and trump are doing is against our Forefather's wishes and no true patriot would support the way they are doing this
This “Citizenship” question was on the Census for 50 years until 2008 when the Obama administration had it removed. The real question is why was it removed? Liberals had it removed in order to inflate the numbers of “citizens” (legal or illegal-what the heck?) for greater representation. Isn’t it strange how no one seems to mention this? Now President Trump gets lambasted for merely attempting to restore it. There are always two sides to every story...unless you ignore one side...isn’t that right Joe?

Citizenship was never asked if all census respondents and non-citizens, whether legal or not, were never excluded from the totals. Ignore the lies.
Don't expect me to follow a link to NPR with expectations of truthful journalism.
Look Joe, the media was extremely liberal in 2010. They didn't report the sudden removal of the Citizenship question from the 2010 Census, because they knew why the Obama Administration did it. More Democratic voters, and potentially more taxpayer dollars to Blue states, like California. In addition, the Obama Administration could not be held accountable for allowing many millions of law-breaking non-citizens to enter and live in the United States, if Congress had no idea how many were here, and where they were living.
Why do you care about this question Joe?
Don't you see this as foreign influence of our election?
Is it that the ends justifies the means with you Joe?
Power at any cost? Again, why is this an issue for Joe (whoever you are)?
I care about the constitution, and do should you. Fortunately our conservative SCOTUS also agrees with me and not with you or trump.

If you don’t want to read the NPR article you can look at the pictures. It shows the census forms over the years that do not include a citizenship question. Al of this info is available by simple google search but if you prefer just taking Sarah Sanders word on it then that’s your ignorant prerogative.
BTW, the issue isn't whether illegals should be counted or not....that horse left the stable when the forefathers drew up our constitution. If you want that changed, it will take an amendment. Start calling your reps
Not so fast. You must develop patience. You are consistently jumping to conclusions triggered by hatred. President Trump is a winner that has been effective in defeating all opposition ranging from fake news media, hoax investigations, Trump Derangement Syndrome psychopaths, etc, etc, etc. liberals are at their wits end after repeated failures to bring down Trump. Keep it up. Republicans are not sick of winning.
Barr, I don't think this goon ball could find his way out of a paper bag with the other end tore off. I see said the Barr man while holding the Bone Spur in Chief's scrotum.

With Ramblowme nodding his head . WINK WINK.
TG, what Law School did you graduate from? Who did you clerk for as you gained experience? What law firm put your name on their advertising? What government agency hired you to represent them? How long were you AG (Attorney General)? Well, we all know where this goes. TG, you can’t even spell or scribe up to an 8th grade level, yet, you insult those who surpass you in their sleep. Maybe it is time for a mental intervention. WINK WINK. It would take you over 25 years to qualify for AG Barr’s position. That is if you were even smart enough to begin the process. Who is dumb now? Keep it up.
The border crisis is a cancer. Trump has sought to minimize it with many options, such as sending troops, building a wall and threatening Mexico with tariffs for not helping. Meanwhile, Joe and Tammy's Democrats remain a tumor – their actions only feed the cancer.

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