Census citizenship question blocked by Supreme Court, partisan gerrymandering continues

AmNews Staff Reports | 6/27/2019, 11:43 a.m.
Reports indicate that the Supreme Court has ruled the question of citizenship cannot be asked on the 2020 U.S. Census.

Reports indicate that the Supreme Court has ruled that the question of citizenship cannot be asked on the 2020 U.S. Census.

The question was put forth by President Donald Trump and challenged by several states, including New York.

"The evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation (Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross) gave for his decision," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "The sole stated reason seems to have been contrived."

While critics said the question was an attempt by the Trump administration to target undocumented immigrants, they also said it would deter the undocumented from filling out the Census leading to an undercount. Large, mostly Democratic cities with heavy immigrant populations would miss out on funding.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that Supreme Court's decision to block the Trump Administration's inclusion of a citizenship question on the U.S. Census is an important win for the nation.

"This decision will help ensure each and every New Yorker will be counted and provided with the critical services they need and deserve, regardless of their immigration status," he said. "Shame on the Trump Administration for its attempt to make the U.S. Census a political pawn in their continued anti-immigrant agenda."

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said the ruling was good for the nation as well. She also added that it does not better enforce Voting Right as Trump has proclaimed.

“While the citizenship question is blocked from the 2020 Census for now, the Administration still has time to present new reasoning and to get the question approved by the lower courts.," she said "So, while we celebrate this victory for now, we need to continue to keep our eyes on making sure every single person living in this country is counted."

The Supreme Court also ruled that federal courts cannot get involved in challenges of gerrymandering, the practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district lines.

"We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Roberts said. "Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions."

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement that the ruling has been harmful to Black voters and has determined the outcomes of elections for too long.

"In America, voters should choose their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters," he said. "The Court should have halted this unconstitutional conduct, but it did not. This is a dereliction of duty in protecting our democracy. We are entitled to fair maps and fair representation in every state he said. "We call upon elected officials everywhere – as well as state courts – to reject partisanship and insist on fair redistricting so that everyone can have a voice.”