The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued an emergency stay blocking the deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in the ongoing dispute over the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The order, a victory for the Trump administration, puts any attempt to question Ross about his role in the inclusion of the question on hold, at least until the Court can hear the issue more fully. The Court’s decision overrules, for the time being, the order of U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who instructed Ross to submit to questioning from lawyers in the ongoing litigation of the Census.

While Ross is now unlikely to testify in the upcoming trial, which is scheduled for November 5, other depositions, including Justice Department official John Gore, can proceed as planned. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, the far-right flank of the court, partially dissented on the grounds that if Ross’ deposition should be stayed, the entire process should be stayed as well.

The decision to add a citizenship question to the Census has been broadly criticized by experts as likely to intimidate respondents and lower the reporting rate, particularly among people of color. If the Census fails due to an undercount, everything from the apportionment of congressional districts to the allocation of federal funding could be thrown off balance for a decade. The undercounts could be especially severe in large, diverse states like New York, California, and Texas.

What is more, there is substantial evidence Ross lied to Congress about his involvement in the decision to add the question. In his testimony to Congress in March, Ross said under oath that the DOJ had asked him in a letter to include the citizenship question, to facilitate compliance with the Voting Rights Act. But emails exposed in a lawsuit over the policy revealed that Ross in fact asked for the change himself, on the advice of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and far-right Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, and only later requested the DOJ send him a letter to give cover to his decision.

Ross has faced scrutiny for other ethics violations as well, including his decision to short-sell stocks in a company he owned while he was in office.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.

 

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Lt. Gov. Janice McEachin

The Republican Party’s radical right flank is making inroads among voters and winning key primaries east of the Mississippi. But out West, among the five states that held their 2022 primary elections on May 17, a string of GOP candidates for office who deny the 2020’s presidential election results and have embraced various conspiracies were rejected by Republicans who voted for more mainstream conservatives.

In Pennsylvania, Douglas Mastriano, an election denier and white nationalist, won the GOP’s nomination for governor. He received 568,000 votes, which was 44.1 percent of the vote in a low turnout primary. One-quarter of Pennsylvania’s nine million registered voters cast ballots.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. Ted Budd, left, and Cheri Beasley

On Tuesday, North Carolina Republicans selected Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), a far-right extremist who has pushed false claims about the 2020 election, to be their Senate nominee. He will face Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the state's Supreme Court.

As of Wednesday morning, Budd had received more than 58 percent of the GOP primary vote. Former Gov. Pat McCrory received just below 25 percent of the vote, while former Rep. Mark Walker received about nine percent of the vote.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}