Census

Federal Judge: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross 'Violated the Public Trust' with Census Citizenship Question

The Trump administration can't ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, Judge Jesse Furman ruled.

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Maria Dryfhout/Dreamstime.com

The Trump administration cannot ask residents whether or not they are U.S. citizens on the 2020 census, a federal judge said today.

The ruling from Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York came almost 10 months after the Department of Commerce announced the 2020 census would ask respondents: "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" A version of that question was included on the census until 1950. And as Reason's Matt Welch noted at the time, the long-form census questionnaire, which is sent to one in six households, included a similar question until 2000.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has argued that asking residents about their citizenship status will provide more data so the Justice Department can more effectively enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). "The Department of Commerce is not able to determine definitively how inclusion of a citizenship question on the decennial census will impact responsiveness," he wrote in a memo late last March. "However, even if there is some impact on responses, the value of more complete and accurate data derived from surveying the entire population outweighs such concerns."

But dozens of states and cities filed suit as a result, according to Bloomberg News. Furman's ruling dealt with one of these suits, which was filed in New York. He particularly took issue with Ross's justification for the citizenship question. "It follows that a court cannot sustain agency action founded on a pretextual or sham justification that conceals the true 'basis' for the decision," the judge wrote.

Furman noted that by adding a citizenship question to the census, Ross was violating the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The act "ensures that agencies exercise only the authority that Congress has given them, that they exercise that authority reasonably, and that they follow applicable procedures—in short, it ensures that agencies remain accountable to the public they serve," according to the ruling. Furman added:

That is not to say—and the APA does not say—that an agency cannot adopt new policies or otherwise change course. But the APA does require that before an agency does so, it must consider all important aspects of a problem; study the relevant evidence and arrive at a decision rationally supported by that evidence; comply with all applicable procedures and substantive laws; and articulate the facts and reasons—the real reasons—for that decision.

Ross's decision, however, "fell short on all these fronts." As a result, "he violated the law," Furman said. "And in doing so with respect to the census," he added, "Secretary Ross violated the public trust."

Furman's ruling was celebrated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "This victory in our case is a forceful rebuke of the administration's attempts to weaponize the census to attack immigrants and communities of color," the group wrote on Twitter.

Civil rights groups have argued that adding a citizenship question to the census would lead to millions of residents not being counted. Their concerns are valid, as Welch has explained on several occasions.

Essentially, many households containing illegal immigrants are not going to want to answer citizenship questions, fearing their responses will draw attention from the federal government. There's precedent to back this up—in an effort to catch draft-dodgers during World War I, census officials shared data with the Justice Department. Likewise, they shared information about Japanese Americans during World War II to aid the Justice Department's internment efforts. And in the early 2000s, the Census Bureau reported to the Department of Homeland Security how many Arab Americans lived in certain zip codes.

So why does it matter if the 2020 census does not count a large number of U.S. residents? Well, thanks to the 14th Amendment, electoral maps are determined by "the whole number of persons in each state," not just U.S. citizens. So while non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, can't vote, congressional reapportionment still takes their residency into account. And the Supreme Court has upheld this.

"Nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates—children, their parents, even their grandparents, for example, have a stake in a strong public-education system—and in receiving constituent services, such as help navigating public-benefits bureaucracies," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the Court's majority in 2016. "By ensuring that each representative is subject to requests and suggestions from the same number of constituents, total population apportionment promotes equitable and effective representation."

Back to today's ruling, where Furman agreed with the plaintiffs that adding a citizenship question will mean that "hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of people will go uncounted in the census."

"That undercount, in turn, will translate into a loss of political power and funds, among other harms, for various Plaintiffs," he added.

You can read Furman's entire 277-page ruling here. The decision will most likely be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and possibly even to the Supreme Court.

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  1. Just took a look at the US Constitution and… holy crap! Nothing in there about counting citizens. The census is about counting persons. And representatives represent persons not citizens. It’s right there in black and white. it’s not like the founders didn’t ahve the word “citizen” because in the very same article it says representatives have to be citizens.

    Learn something new every day. All this brainwashing over the years made me think the census was all about counting citizens. The US Constitution actually doesn’t give a shit about non-citizens living within our borders. They get taxed just like citizens. The just can’t vote in Federal elections and they can’t hold Federal office. But they do get representation and the do pay taxes.

    1. Sort of.

      How many free men/women/children weren’t citizens?

      Do you see any sort of compromise as to how to count large groups of people who were not citizens?

      1. Totally irrelevant whining.

        1. Time to kill yourself Hihnfaggot.

      2. I seem to remember something to do with 3/5ths… cannot remember what that was exactly… what could it be…

        1. I know you’re just jerking off, but that clause had nothing to do with citizenship

    2. So you’re saying the census should only do a headcount and not be a comprehensive survey as it is now.

      1. I agree with this. I’m more conflicted on whether representation should be based on citizenship or not, but a lot of the demographic information should just go away.

        1. I’d certainly be willing to trade all the questions on it for just two – how many adults in the house? How many are citizens?

          1. How many times have you given me joy while you made a fool of yourself getting the definition of scold wrong?

          2. OH NO!

            Don’t you know that all those people who are not supposed to be here are going to be upset if you ask them to admit they are not supposed to be here?

            Yeah, no sympathy here.

            1. Umm, how can ANYONE assume that only citizens are legal residents?

              1. Why would legal residents and those holding legal visas would reaent answering this question? Or be scared to answer it?

                1. They wouldn’t and aren’t.
                  Funny thing happens when you talk to legal immigrants (the majority in my experience) – you learn that they are passionately opposed to illegal immigration.
                  Who’d have thunk it?

                  1. Need to get this decision overturned.

        2. In my libertarian-fascist state, the government would be strictly prohibited from recognizing demographic information of that sort.
          Number, age, sex, citizenship – that is all that gets official recognition.

        3. ” a lot of the demographic information should just go away.”

          So you are saying that you are ok with some of it remaining?

          Don’t see how that can be squared with the census being noting more than a headcount.

        4. Kind of a lost cause. It’s already there, in more ways than one can count starting with RealID

      2. That would be ideal, yes. The survey is nice for various non-governmental data analysis. But it’s not needed for the purposes of government. I’m willing to help fund the census by selling survey questions to the highest bidder. (Within reason, have an approval process in place for questions so we don’t get obnoxious or offensive ones).

        1. “I’m willing to help fund the census by selling survey questions to the highest bidder. (Within reason, have an approval process in place for questions so we don’t get obnoxious or offensive ones).”

          Except that they’re all obnoxious and offensive. They are an invasion of privacy.

          1. I love how you scold people from all of your sockpuppet accounts.

            1. Do sockpuppets get counted?

              1. Should socks be counted by pairs?

    3. And representatives represent persons not citizens.

      Learn something new every day. All this brainwashing over the years made me think the census was all about counting citizens. The US Constitution actually doesn’t give a shit about non-citizens living within our borders.

      This would seem to be a rather selective reading of The Constitution. They certainly had no problem excluding Indians not taxed and 2/5ths of people otherwise owned in The Constitution itself and The Constitution doesn’t explicitly give people the power to elect a president and arguably/reasonably delegates it to the States.

      Of course, reading the whole Constitution, Art. XIX changes things quite a bit when it starts off “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

      1. Of course, reading the more of the whole Constitution, Art. XIX changes…

      2. I assume that by “Art. XIX” you’re referring to the 19th Amendment? It helps to get these things right

    4. Actually, it says, “the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.

      Thus establishing that the apportionment wasn’t in fact supposed to be just a matter of counting warm bodies.

      Now, why were “Indians not taxed” not counted for purposes of apportionment? Because they weren’t citizens, being members of sovereign tribes. Indians who weren’t taxed were those who lived on the reservations, sovereign territory outside the jurisdiction of the states. Indians who were taxed, were those who lived outside the reservations, and were citizens who just happened to be Indians.

      IOW, the census wasn’t counting foreign citizens who merely happened to be in US territory at the time.

      1. Yeah, it’s like saying The Constitution never uses the word ‘citizen’ while ignoring the fact that it makes copious use of the word ‘Subject’.

      2. Now, why were “Indians not taxed” not counted for purposes of apportionment? Because they weren’t citizens, being members of sovereign tribes. Indians who weren’t taxed were those who lived on the reservations, sovereign territory outside the jurisdiction of the states.

        You just answered your own question. On reservations they are outside the jurisdiction of the state and also outside being REPRESENTED by either part of Congress since both House and Senate apportion seats by state..

        1. Non-citizens should not be counted for purposes of representation as they are not entitled to representation unless and until they become citizens.

          People here illegally should be arrested and deported without exception.

          1. Non-citizens should not be counted for purposes of representation as they are not entitled to representation unless and until they become citizens.

            Instead of bellowing, you need to amend the Constitution.
            Or learn it.

            1. And you need to commit suicide Hihnfaggot.

        2. They are not outside the jurisdiction of the US. I grew up on the reservation, and about the only people with any authority on a Rez is the federal government. Try again.

          1. I didn’t say they were outside US jurisdiction. I said they were outside jurisdiction of the state (meaning state).

            Post-1924 (and 1948), things changed re apportionment with US citizenship.

            1. Only outside the jurisdiction of the states to a certain degree of outside. There are quite a few state regulations and laws they have to follow even then. And they are allowed to vote in both state and federal elections. They are represented by their states respective Senators and Representatives. Your ignorance remains, your explanation of your statement doesn’t make it less ignorant of how things work.

              1. They also can vote for state legislatures, governors, county level officers (commissioners, sheriff’s, JPs etc) in fact nothing you stated is even close to reality.

          2. You do realize reservations were made after the Constitution was drafted and nearly all Indian nations were smashed by Andrew Jackson and forced to move West. Realities were different.

      3. Except we tax the illegal immigrants.

        Do we count people on non-immigrant work visas?

      4. There were no reservations to speak of in 1786.

    5. All BS.

      The census has asked for citizen status many times. Along with place of birth. And for your parents too.

      1. Allow me to intrude some facts on what has been allowed on the census in its history.

        Citizenship was asked often. Race. Ethnicity. And where you and your parents were born.

        The ruling doesn’t pass a laugh test. It’s judicial authoritarianism in action yet again.

        https://goo.gl/woJQaF

        1. They have charts for common questions starting at page 121.

          Citizenship has asked place of birth and citizenship from 1870 to 2000.
          Parents place of birth from 1870 to 1970.

          Judicial authoritarianism.

    6. If you look again, you won’t find anything in there about asking if you have indoor bathing facilities, etc., either.

    7. They also only counted every 3 out of 5 slaves as one person to reduce representation in the slave states. Do we do this with undocumented aliens to reduce representation in states with large numbers of these individuals? They would be counted for taxation at the time but it’s different now. Yes they pay taxes when they purchase items but they do not pay income tax.

    8. There’s nothing in the constitution about asking about family income. Or race. Or marital status. Or sex. Or age (year of birth). Or telephone number. Or what kind of home you live in (trailer, single-family deteched…). Or how many rooms are in the house. Or what fuel is used to heat the house. Or if the house has a sewer or septic line. Or if you have a mortgage. Or any of a host of other questions the census asks. Citizenship was a question for 100 years (was asked in 2000; sometimes indirectly, asked as “place of birth” and/or “is the person naturalized or an alien”) and is a perfectly valid demographic statistic that may be used for rational purposes.

      “They just can’t vote in Federal elections and they can’t hold Federal office.” They’re not SUPPOSED to vote in Federal elections, but we know that at least some do.

  2. As a true libertarian, of all the ways the fedgov violates our rights, I’m at least glad they can’t count how many citizens there are.

    Freedom.

    1. Imagine not realizing this is an important part of freedom.

      Oh wait, imagine being a sockpuppet.

      1. Luckily you don’t have to imagine your own life Cathy.

  3. Poor Lefties and their judges on the bench having another sad.

    Trump is so awesome because he pushes his campaign promises and simultaneously gets lefties to back reducing government overreach.

    Its a win-win-win if the federal government goes back to simply counting heads for the Census. Cut thousands of federal workers between the Census count decades. Let private companies survey Americans if they want that info.

    1. So any minute now Trump will laugh and claim that not counting citizens was his plan all along. Poor Trump sock troll.

      1. I love that he can reduce you to mother-in-law type scolding with one post.

    2. Awww, poor Trump sock troll got out his sock.

      1. You scolded him about that already.

        He seems to have you very upset.

        1. Poor Tulpa. Can’t stop can you?

          1. What, helping him remember?

            Sorry it upsets you, but it’s not like I was scolding him or anything.

          2. I think my favorite part is how he logs in to Agammammon like clockwork, that’s always fun.

        2. SparkY is pretty upset for a troll.

          Usually they post their script and move on.

          1. Yes, he is still crying profusely apparently.

    3. Poor, sad troll. It doesn’t take much for you to put on your Tuipa sock and crybaby at everyone. Poor poor sock troll. So sad.

      1. Sorry that pointing out your overwhelming tendency to be a boring scold upsets you so much.

      2. “It doesn’t take much for you to put on your … sock and crybaby at everyone”

        I finally get it! Don’t be so upset, I’m not going to steal your bit.

    4. Poor sad troll sock won’t even acknowledge that it misspelled its name. So sad.

      1. “$park?”

        Now he’s so upset he’s scolding himself!!!

    5. MAGA!

      and making trolls like SparkY sad.

      1. It’s lucky that upsetting dollarparkyen gets you a pissed off Cathy free of charge.

      2. Define MAGA, statist troll.

        1. Pedo Duncan now rearing his ugly head. Piss off commie traitor.

    6. Aww, so cute that sad troll will respond to itself with its sock so it doesn’t feel lonely. Sad troll sock.

      1. Hold up, we’re still on you scolding yourself for misspelling your name.

      2. $park? The Misanthrope|1.15.19 @ 2:51PM|#

        Poor sad troll sock won’t even acknowledge that it misspelled its name. So sad”

        Ahahahahah dollarparkyen is so fucking stupid and upset that he didn’t realize he was talking about himself!!!

        Ahahahahah what a stupid clown!! It’s no wonder he’s poor, has a shitty job and failed out of college!!!

    7. Poor stupid sock troll is still down here crying about being a sock troll. So sad.

      1. “Poor stupid sock troll is still down here crying about being a sock troll”

        No one is making you do that.

        Just like no one made you scold yourself.

        $park? The Misanthrope|1.15.19 @ 2:51PM|#

        Poor sad troll sock won’t even acknowledge that it misspelled its name. So sad”

        Ahahahahah dollarparkyen is so fucking stupid and upset that he didn’t realize he was talking about himself!!!

        I’ve pissed him off so much that he can’t stop!!

    8. Go, poor stupid sock troll, go. You’re really on a roll now. Someone should be along any minute to crown you queen of the sad sock trolls.

      1. Cry more!

        It’s not my fault you scolded yourself!!!

        $park? The Misanthrope|1.15.19 @ 2:51PM|#

        Poor sad troll sock won’t even acknowledge that it misspelled its name. So sad”

        Ahahahahah dollarparkyen is so fucking stupid and upset that he didn’t realize he was talking about himself!!!

        1. Hundo says that as soon as dollarparkyen finishes his awful commute from his shitty job to his slum of a home that he’ll be here crying.

          Takers?

  4. it must consider all important aspects of a problem; study the relevant evidence and arrive at a decision rationally supported by that evidence; comply with all applicable procedures and substantive laws; and articulate the facts and reasons?the real reasons?for that decision.

    Very nice. How about this ruling be applied to everything government does?

    1. Totally obfuscating the fact the court has assumed the role of determining the “real” (political) reasons, regardless of any facts.

      1. Good point, I did not realize that being a mind reader was the real skill of a judge, as compared to analysis of facts.

      2. Ah, but the *court* would have to articulate *the* facts and *the* reasons for determining the political reasons.

        Of course, this will never happen.

  5. All the other stuff they ask on the census besides how people are in the household is ok and strongly implied to be required to answer (like race and such), but asking about citizenship is beyond the pale? We truly live in Bizarro world.

    1. Consider the listed past abuses, all of these relied on data collection that is still a-ok.

  6. Kind of nice that we might be going in the direction of the Census being officially too intrusive.

  7. This is the right decision. People could be intimidated by that question and it’s more important to get accurate data. A few years ago (right after Trump won the election) I was asked to participate in a federal study about nicotene use. They started asking very personal questions and I felt uncomfortable and stopped. She assured me it was anonymous (and that she understood how I felt because she voted for Hillary) but that was little consolation.

    1. How many firearms do you have?

      Are they locked?

      1. Which window would be the best for federal agents to use for confiscation?

  8. Essentially, many households containing illegal immigrants are not going to want to answer citizenship questions, fearing their responses will draw attention from the federal government. There’s precedent to back this up?in an effort to catch draft-dodgers during World War I, census officials shared data with the Justice Department. Likewise, they shared information about Japanese Americans during World War II to aid the Justice Department’s internment efforts. And in the early 2000s, the Census Bureau reported to the Department of Homeland Security how many Arab Americans lived in certain zip codes.

    And none of that was illegal. Sorry but “this might make people uncomforable or not respond” is up to the Congress and the President to decide not the courts. This decision is just results driven bullshit. Reason siince it appears to have absolutely no principles beyond obtaining the results they like by any means necessary is of course fine with it. Rule of law and principles are just not libertarian.

    1. So are the racial/ethnicity questions allowable or not?

      1. How do they directly apply to “apportioning the house of representatives”?

        1. aanndd, THAT answered the question.

      2. They were allowed in many censuses, and after the 13th, 14th, and 15th.

        The precedent is unambiguous.

    2. And none of that was illegal.

      I’m sorry? You’re justifying government action solely on the premise that its OK if its not illegal? War on Drugs is fine with you then? Slavery was fine with you?

      1. Oooh more of that scolding I love!!!

      2. Actually, the war on drugs is not based upon any recognized constitional power (unless you completely distort the commerce clause) and is in fact a direct violation if the 9A and 10A. However, the census, at least, has a constitutional basis. If asking any question beyond how many people live in your household is allowed is another question. If asking if you are a citizen is illegal (judges aren’t supposed to decide on right or wrong, but in legal/illegal) then all questions except number of people in your household are just as illegal.

      3. Last I heard judges were supposed to be about what’s illegal, not what they happened to approve of. You seem to prefer judges of a more “active” bent.

        1. IIRC, Agammamon is in favor of the one-man veto power over existing law, that is called jury nullification.
          AKA anarchy.

    3. I read the article quickly, but I did not see an argument that Congress had specifically prohibited asking about citizenship.

      One gets the impression that the courts give deference to the executive based on party affiliation, not on the merits of law or anything objective like that.

      1. Congress didn’t specifically prohibit. Ok but did they authorize the government to do it. See the Executive branch needs the go ahead from Congress like war. Now will someone sue the Trump admin (as place holder, not because of Trump; goddamn TDS) over executive overreach over wars in Lybia, Syria, Yemen…)

      2. Lots of activist judges. Something should be done about that. This country really must be cleansed of it’s progressives.

    4. I suppose asking somebody who’s committing welfare or tax fraud about their income might make them feel nervous. Do they report the under the table income, or lie on the census form?

      Why do I care if illegal immigrants are nervous? They ought to be nervous. They ought to go home to relieve their nerves.

    5. Shhh, don’t tell John Roberts, but this was an 0blama “judge”.
      Go figure.

  9. I look forward to this ruling being overturned.

    1. Can you imagine the Reason tantrum if it does.

      1. Reason has a tantrum every day, so how will we tell?

  10. Congress and the EC should be driven by people who are here legally. Blue states shouldn’t get extra representation as a reward for encouraging violations of immigration law.

    Reason disagrees. Reason is siding with people who think the only thing wrong in Venezuela is that the editorial staff of the NY Times aren’t the ones in charge.

    Free minds? Free markets? Nah.

    1. Texas has a lot of illegal immigrants too.

    2. Wait until the 2020 Census rolls in even with Blue states counting illegals.

      Georgia as well as some other Red states are picking up House seats.

      That and Trump winning re-election are gonna send Lefties into a tantrum throwing tailspin.

      1. Can we judge the merit of this prediction based on how well your midterm forecast turned out?

      2. Poorer illegal immigrant will gravitate toward those states with lower costs of living. It may take some time, but this will be the trend.

    3. Congress and the EC should be driven by people who are here legally. Blue states shouldn’t get extra representation as a reward for encouraging violations of immigration law

      That would require a Constitutional Amendment.
      Bellowing does not count.

      1. The question seems to be if asking the government asking questions that MAY result in people not being counted in the Census is the same as the government refusing to count them. I don’t see that it is. This same reasoning needs to be applied to other aspects of government action, too. For example, if the government asking a question that MAY result in people buying or possessing fewer firearms, is that a violation of the Second Amendment? Considering gun control legislation (registration, background checks, etc.) that has been found to be constitutional, I have trouble believing it would be.

  11. The Trump administration cannot ask residents whether or not they are U.S. citizens on the 2020 census, a federal judge said today.

    So, by this judges ruling on the APA, why are all the other questions allowed? I mean, I’m all for the citizenship question not being there buuuuuuuut, it would seem to me that there’s a semi-legitimate reason for it – confirming the actual number of citizens in an area for apportionment – when there’s no reason for any of the other questions except ‘we just want to know so we can use that info to fuck with you’.

    “It follows that a court cannot sustain agency action founded on a pretextual or sham justification that conceals the true ‘basis’ for the decision,” the judge wrote.

    “This victory in our case is a forceful rebuke of the administration’s attempts to weaponize the census to attack immigrants and communities of color,”

    Seriously ACLU? Are you saying communities of color are in the same category as immigrants? That asking citizenship status a) actually endangers any of these people and b) that, for example, African Americans wouid be affected by it? Or are you just midlessly parroting buzzwords without really reflecting on what they mean instead of using them to just lump people together to further your own agenda.

    Ah, so *now* he doesn’t believe in ‘rational basis’?

    1. “Nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates?children, their parents, even their grandparents, for example, have a stake in a strong public-education system?and in receiving constituent services, such as help navigating public-benefits bureaucracies,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

      She’s kind of stupid. By not having a *vote* they don’t have a voice. And if they can’t vote, the guy ‘representing’ them DGAF about them – because, like the phone company, he doesn’t have to. So he can pander to the voting minority in his district and screw over the non-voting majority that he supposedly represents. FFS.

      Basically this whole decision is just ‘I don’t like Trump’.

      I don’t like saying that. I don’t have TDS – the variant where Trump never does anything wrong. But this decision is literally ‘fuck Trump, I don’t like that guy’. And his repudiating ‘rational basis’ will, IMNALO, see it overturned. No judge has ever cared about ‘the real reasons’ for a government policy as long as the stated reasons can give them cover to invoke rational basis.

      1. You are easily the scoldiest of scolds, it is fabulous to watch, no matter which of your sockpuppets you use.

        1. But he is correct. There is lots of precedent for judges differing to government laws and regulations on the basis that they stated a plausible reason for it. The plausible reason might well be a fig leaf, but the courts upheld anyway.

      2. Except where some of them are citizens who can vote. Then you get a smaller number of voters per rep. Voters who are presumably taking into account the welfare of their illegal families.

    2. Seriously ACLU? Are you saying communities of color are in the same category as immigrants?

      What is with the absolutely pathetic level of reading comprehension around here? They say “immigrants and communities of color” and you’re like “omg are you saying they are the same thing by using a conjunction?!?”

      I don’t know why it’s so hard for you to imagine that “communities of color” involve more than just African-Americans. They include communities with significant shares of noncitizen members.

      1. by using a conjunction, it implies that they share the same concern. He has challenged that implication with a specific, valid example.

      2. You are daft.

  12. I like this idea that representatives should be proportioned based on the number of residents and not the number of eligible voters. It sounds familiar somehow.

  13. Congressional districts are apportioned by the population using the census. If we are counting non-citizens aren’t we allowing them to vote? Not literary I know, but they are being represented.

    1. Not everything can be literary.

  14. Interesting argument. Did the decision to take that question off the census in 2000 follow all the APA rules? If not, then that has no relevance to the 2020 decision to add it back.

    Counter-argument – Two wrongs don’t make a right. The 2020 decision must be evaluated independently from the 2000 decision.
    Rebuttal – There are two possibilities about the 2000 decision.
    A – It was right and the APA was unnecessary. If so, then the APA is also inapplicable in 2020.
    B – It was wrong. If so, then reversing the decision in 2020 is voluntarily returning to compliance with the law – something which explicitly does not require APA review.

    I’m not sure about some of the other arguments but hanging this decision on APA compliance seems wrong to me.

  15. So any recipient can refuse to answer census questions that “scare” them?
    The only legitimate question I can think of is “how many persons live here”?
    All that other bullshit is just doing free market research for corporations, and enabling racist and sexist statutes.

    1. I’ve been told by law that you have to answer all questions. Once i didn’t and they hounded me with endless phone calls but I just told them I wouldn’t answer anything beyond number of people then hung up they eventually got tired.

  16. Good day for libertarians.

    Bad day for the stale-thinking, frightened, and bigoted.

    Comments to sift accordingly and predictably.

    1. Hi Arthur, how much time out of your room do you get today? Does it change with good behavior? Do you have to go back to your room for your meds? Do you go back to your room on your own or do the orderlys have to drag you back?

      Doesn’t it feel good when others take a personal interest in your life?

      1. What feels good is knowing that America will continue to progress in line with my preferences, and that you will continue to comply with those preferences like a good little obedient, inconsequential, right-wing loser. Feel free to mutter bitterly about this — in America, whimpers about progress are free, especially in Alabama!

        1. If what has happened to America is “progress”, it is into hell.

  17. The correct response to this ruling is to remove all questions beyond number of people in the household, are they free-men or slaves and are they non-taxed Indians.

  18. Why do we need a Commerce Department?
    Oh, that’s right.
    A lot of incompetent, stupid and lazy people wouldn’t be able to get a paycheck otherwise.

  19. NEWSFLASH: The Commerce Department has never had the public’s trust.

  20. “The Trump administration can’t ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, Judge Jesse Furman ruled.”

    WRONG.

    Geez, the stupidity and inaccuracies around here get tiring.

    The left wing judge took issue with the process and proffered justification for the action, even while admitting that the question could be asked with proper process and justification.

  21. “Public trust” BS, judge. The public voted for Donald Trump. Not you.

    1. Constitution, Sluggo.
      Judicial Review, Chump.
      And “the people” voted for Hillary.
      Why are all Trumpsters as blatantly authoritarian as the Donald?

      1. The electors – you know, the ones that the Constitution says actually count – voted for Trump.
        “The people” were only to have a peripheral say – thank goodness.

  22. Kind of ridiculous to suggest that people who don’t have a vested interest here (non-citizens) should be counted towards anything other than a head tally for the sake of statistics. I won’t defend this line of reasoning, but if you’re here legally, why should you fear answering a citizenship question? It’s important that we don’t assign representation and electoral votes to munis/states that adopt sanctuary policies because that opens the door for voter dilution and effectively eliminates any real reason to possess citizenship (taken to the extreme, residency in the US and belief in the democratic process) . Current supporters of such ideas should consider what might occur when their current in-group is no longer politically valuable and politicians abandon them for the newest cause of the month to secure votes and power.

    1. Kind of ridiculous to suggest that people who don’t have a vested interest here (non-citizens) should be counted towards anything other than a head tally for the sake of statistics.

      Kind of ridiculous, your ignorance of our Constitution.
      And downright scary, to say that only citizens have a vested interest.

      1. Do you really not see the practical issue with providing additional representation based on the presence of non-citizens? “Muh constitution” isn’t an argument. If you want to discuss that particular argument then please state what it actually is instead of relying on rhetorical tricks.

        It isn’t scary at all to say that non-citizens don’t have a vested interest in our country. If you aren’t a citizen, you have another country to return to. Stateless individuals and refugees are the exception and not the norm, but even they shouldn’t be represented just because their misfortunes happened to land them here. Any system that allows non-citizens to count towards representation encourages abuse of immigration to increase representation. Our country literally debated this issue at its founding, which resulted in the 3/5ths Compromise. Northerners realized that Southern slave owners wanted to use their non-citizen slaves to acquire more electoral power and did what they could to limit that power, Constitution be damned.

    2. don’t have a vested interest here (non-citizens)

      WTF? Everyone who lives in the US has a “vested interest” in the government. It isn’t all free handouts, you know. They jail non-citizens for non-criminal “offenses” too, you know.

      1. Technically, if you’re living in the US illegally, your interest in the government hasn’t vested yet.

        1. Technically, if you’re living in the US illegally, your interest in the government hasn’t vested yet.

          Nonsense, utter nonsense. Try telling this to any illegal alien serving time in a Federal prison.

      2. Vested wasn’t the best word choice on my part. Almost everyone has a vested interest in the US in some capacity, as we are the largest superpower and economy. However, with regards to what is in the best interest of the US, that only applies to US citizens as (almost) everyone else has a get out of jail free card. A foreign national can reap the benefits and return home. If China continues to prosper and the US doesn’t exist 100 years from now in its current form, nobody in China cares. What happens to our descendants and our way of life is relevant only to those of us committed to staying here legally. We have to live with the results even if we aren’t personally culpable. This issue is basically NIMBYism on a global scale.

        There isn’t a single country that has adopted our standard of freedom and natural law despite nearly 300 years of our successes. If I were you I would be a bit more concerned about our demographics and values. Our Constitution has no meaning if our elected officials dilute our votes.

        1. everyone else has a get out of jail free card.

          This is also decidedly untrue. Illegal aliens and other noncitizens are routinely imprisoned rather than imported, and indeed our government has imprisoned more than a few people who are foreign citizens, arrested outside US borders, for crimes committed outside of US soil (of course people who meet this description are ironically legal aliens).

          From my admittedly limited experience, the government only deports over imprisoning if some Federal attorney views the cost of imprisonment to outweigh the benefit for punishing the crime in question. If there’s a problem here it’s that US citizens would be punished for the same offenses, which punishments are evidently not worth the cost, and indeed we see that precisely that is not only commonplace, but the overwhelming norm in Federal criminal cases.

  23. “The Trump administration cannot ask residents whether or not they are U.S. citizens on the 2020 census, a federal judge said today.”

    Ridiculous judicial authoritarianism.

    A whole lot of censuses asked not merely your citizenship status, but where you were born. Sometimes the same for your parents.

    The Trump administration should tell the judge to go pound sand.

    1. Exactly

  24. “Their concerns are valid” — NO they aren’t! The U.S. government shouldn’t be anymore concerned about ILLEGAL citizens than it might feel obligated to fix the concerns of North Korea’s Citizens. It is not the job of government to pander to illegal citizens. It is the job of government to LEGALLY remove them so a full-on INVASION doesn’t occur although they’re probably too late already.

    1. Illegal citizens, eh? To be fair, that’s about as coherent and reality-based as the rest of your post, so I suppose I shouldn’t single it out.

  25. The Citizenship question enhances the public trust.

  26. Because it is always good to not have any idea how many people are in your country Illegally. I mean 22 Million is only more than most European countries have in them. They cost the US Taxpayer a Trillion dollars ever 50 to seven years… Ya, not a problem when we are running Deficits…

    1. Considering most European countries are much smaller, I would expect the U.S. to have more.

    2. This question wouldn’t have answered that, since there are many people, here, legally, who are not citizens.
      Green-card holders would answer “Not a citizen” but still be here legally.
      Illegals, on the other hand have proven a propensity to lie, so you couldn’t expect honesty from them – just like demoncraps.

  27. If the Government of the United States can’t ask someone within those Several States if they are a citizen, who the hell can?

  28. The 14th Amendment was passed to address the issue of former slaves. To use it to justify the counting of millions of illegal immigrants intentionally allowed to come here for the very reason, among others, to increase the number of representatives in Democratic states is dumb and just plain wrong.

    Trump should just include it and tell the court to take a hike. The 3 branches of government are equal. The judicial branch is not the head of the government.

    1. I don’t read this stuff, just the comments, but did the “judge” actually use the 14th as a justification?
      The same 14th that highlights the denial of the right to vote “to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States” and how it must reduce the representation “in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State”?
      The age and sex, having been changed, through amendment, pray tell, your “honor”, how are we expected to discern if they are citizens, if we can’t ask the question?

  29. this judge is whacked….. HOW does asking a simple question about a respondent’s citizenship threaten anyone? WHY would anyone not answer that, or answer it wrongly?

    Perhaps the Congress could pass a law mandating the question for all future censi? Oh wait, the dems would not want that one on the papers, they’d fear some voters would get scared off……

  30. rational basis review is practically never overturned. that’s because by dictate of constitutional law the judge isn’t allowed to try to imagine what the legislature or executive is really in their heart animated by what they claim, or to say well there are better ways to go at that, or to say well you say your goal is this but the major result is actually something completely different. No, the judge is supposed to uphold the law if any conceivable reason no matter how unlikely that it is the real reason or even how little the law actually helps could possibly exist on any plane of reality. the law can in fact make conditions 100% less likely that stated goal be carried out.

    utter one reason that isn’t so crazy as to make whoever heard it convinced of the insanity of the government official. a government official would basically need to argue that a regulation was implemented because the moon is made of cheese and is rotting and about to make the world stink.

    and what’s ironic is this rubber stamping procedure is what underpins the entire progressive state. all the bullshit regulation, anti competitive garbage and facially backward incentive structures. like rent control. and a million other progressive legislative disasters that survives because for a 120 years progressive and conservative courts have agreed to this fiction. They are so ideologically blinkered they don’t realize they are mining the very foundation of this authoritarian shithole they created.

  31. So can’t the administration go back and add the question again while being careful to comply with the APA? Or will it always be the opinion of some judge somewhere that they didn’t do enough studies, etc. to justify the change…because the judge doesn’t like the change and can always come up with some made-up rule like the individual mandate is a tax?

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  33. First, the founders made yet another mistake by not being better thought out in their wording. They should have made it citizens only for determining representation.

    The left needs to stop it with this horseshit. They keep filing bogus lawsuits about every damn thing Trump is trying to do, even though basically everything he has done has been within the bounds of what is legally acceptable. Such nonsense. Thank god the Supreme Court has a decent split, because all the circuit courts where they’re filing this bullshit are the uber progged out ones.

    1. The Founders never anticipated the judiciary would assume the role of legislators and administrators. Likewise, they never anticipated Congress would surrender its power to the courts so special interests groups could get them to pass “laws” when Congress could not. Judicial activisism is the real threat to our freedom, not the left.

      1. True. Same with a lot of other things they could have done better. They just didn’t think people would be so dumb, and government officials would cede their own power to other branches out of cowardice.

  34. If you look at census records on Ancestry from the turn of the century or before, when the count was taken by hand, you see the citizenship of people clearly recorded along with place of birth. If the questions were not unconstitutional them, how are they now? It is time we demand a stop to Federal judges acting as super-legislators and replacing the will of the people with their personal political opinions.

    1. Didn’t address the constitutionality. Instead the judge cited a law that requires that policy changes must be studied to determine the outcomes of proposed changes. Because he disagreed with the policy change, he determined that not enough effort went into the process of making the change, ergo the change is not allowed. Note: no amount of well thought out, cogently explained administration documentation would EVER meet the standard if a judge decides otherwise.

  35. We need to demand a stop to judicial activism and the imposition of nationwide injunctions. No single Federal judge should have the authority to impose any injunction on the entire nation. Federal judges have specific districts over which they rule and that should be the limit of their authority just ads a state court in Texas does not impact the law in Oklahoma. Injunctions should be required to follow the same process as the case. To the circuit courts of appeal and then the SCOTUS. Only the SCOTUS should be able to impose nationwide injunctions. It is the judiciary which has overstepped it boundaries and continues to do so daily.

  36. “Ross’s decision, however, “fell short on all these fronts.” As a result, “he violated the law,” Furman said. “And in doing so with respect to the census,” he added, “Secretary Ross violated the public trust.””

    Doth protest too much, your honor. Could you not simply, in dicta, aver that orange man bad?

  37. Reading the ruling, the progressiveness drips from every line…200 pages of “Sec. Ross is a bad man with bad intentions”, then the discussion of the “violations”, which are full of judgmental and snide comments…

    “In short, Secretary Ross violated Section 6(c) by adding a “direct inquiry” to the census questionnaire when the data gained from available administrative records would have been adequate ? indeed, better.

    “Secretary Ross tried [italics in original] to justify his decision not to rely on administrative records in lieu of a direct inquiry.

    “For one thing, Secretary Ross appears to have misunderstood his own options.

    “In short, to survive arbitrary-and-capricious review, agency action must be “logical and rational.” Secretary Ross’s decision fails these standards for several independent reasons.

    “In short, Secretary Ross’s decision is neither logical nor rational on its own terms.

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