Q&A of the Day – The SCOTUS Citizenship Census decision
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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@brianmuddradio The apportioning of congressional districting is based on the census. That effects voting. Dems don’t want the question because they want representation of illegal aliens. The Census should only reflect legal citizens and their representation.
Bottom Line: In general, I hear you and understand. I also agree with your premise. That being said, we’d need a Constitutional Amendment to make it happen. I’ve covered this topic on a few occasions since the legal challenge began. Now that the SCOTUS has declined to allow the question to be on the 2020 Census, pending additional legal review, it’s a good time to put this into perspective.
The Census was created under Article 1 section 2 of the US Constitution. Every ten years since 1790, the Census Bureau has been tasked with providing an updated count of persons in every state across the country. The key in this conversation is that it states “persons” not citizens specifically. That obviously leaves room for anyone currently in the country, legally or otherwise, to be counted. With Electoral College representation for Presidential elections, congressional representation and tax payer funding all directly tied to the Census – the stakes couldn’t be higher.
For most of the country’s history the citizenship question was included on the form. It first appeared in 1820 as this...how many foreign-born people "not naturalized". Some version of that question was asked on every Census form through 1950. In 1960 there wasn’t any question but in 1970, 80, 90 & 2000 a version of the question was brought back but only included on 5% to 20% of the forms during those years. The Obama administration dropped the question altogether the 2010 – making it just the 2nd Census since 1820 that didn’t include a version of the question on at least some forms.
Even if the question is included on the 2020 Census it wouldn't exclude anyone, regardless of status, from being counted. It’s also important to note that this isn’t a dead issue. The court ruled that the Commerce Dept. argument for it didn’t match the rational. If they come up with a more congruent argument – it may just be reconsidered by the high court in the fall session. To be continued...