Will have more on this tomorrow, but oral argument in today’s census case…did not look good:
Supreme Court justices were deeply divided Tuesday over whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, with the conservative justices showing signs that they were inclined to vote in favor of allowing the question.After more than an hour and a half of arguments where the justices repeatedly interrupted each other and counsel, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch suggested that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was within his right to add the question.Chief Justice John Roberts asked questions that seemed at times favorable to the administration, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh stressed that Ross has discretion in the area and that other countries ask a similar question.The four liberal justices pounced on the administration’s argument however, asking whether the addition of the question would reduce the number of respondents to the census. Justice Stephen Breyer asked why Ross overruled census officials, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor said “no doubt” that people would respond less.
Allowing a transparently racist vote suppression measure added through blatantly illegal procedural means would be…very on-brand for John Roberts. Anyway, pointing out that control over the Supreme Court was critical to the future of American democracy itself would be the most outrageous BLACKMAIL.
Say this for the Roberts Court 5, though — they are absolutely shameless fucks:
Six years after gutting the Voting Rights Act, the conservative justices on the Supreme Court seem likely to uphold the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census by claiming it’s needed for better enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, wrote in March 2018 that the citizenship question was needed for “more effective enforcement” of the VRA. The conservative justices seemed sympathetic to this claim, even though their 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holdersignificantly weakened the law by neutering the requirement that states with a history of discrimination clear any voting changes with the federal government.
Yes, they have no choice but to overlook some procedural illegalities and constitutional defects because of their legendary strong commitment to the Voting Rights Act. I look forward to Roberts’s memoir of his time on the Court, Pull My Finger.