//  4/5/18  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Easha discuss lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration's decision to ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe via this page with any podcast player or here in iTunes. Note: this post has been updated with links below the player.

Jason and Easha start the discussion by explaining the purpose of the decennial Census and the history of the Census Bureau's collecting information about citizenship. They then discuss how and when the Trump Administration decided to add a question about citizenship on the next Census, and they explain why the addition of this question may result in a substantial undercount of people in areas with high immigrant populations—and they explain why that would be bad for diverse states like California. That leads to a discussion of the merits of the two claims in the lawsuits: that the Administration's action violates the Enumeration Clause, which requires an accurate count of all "persons" in the U.S., and that the government's actions are arbitrary and capricious. They also wonder why the challengers have not added a third claim explicitly alleging discrimination on the basis of race or national origin.

You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at [email protected] And you can buy t-shirts and other goods with our super-cool logo here.

Links

  • The California complaint is here.
  • The complaint of multiple states and cities, led by New York state, is here.
  • An insightful Take Care post on this issue by Jennifer Nou is here.
  • At Balkinization, Joseph Fishkin has this excellent post explaning why DOJ's reasons for requesting the citizenship question don't hold up.
  • At Vox, Dara Lind has a good explainer post here.

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