By JOHN KANELIS / email@example.com
I concede that I am not a constitutional scholar, but I recognize clear and definitive language contained within the U.S. Constitution when I see it.
For example, the Constitution declares that the census should be taken every 10 years and must count all those who live this country. It doesn’t say “citizens.”
So, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that a challenge to a Donald Trump administration effort to limit the census count to just citizens doesn’t have merit. Hmm. The court ruling doesn’t make sense to me.
The court ruled 6-3 — with the conservative majority holding firm — that the complaint was “premature.” The decision by the SCOTUS doesn’t preclude any future challenges, just stops this one at this time.
The court’s conservative majority comprises justices I presume to be “originalists,” meaning that they take the founders’ words as written literally. The founders were clear on who should be counted. That’s why they said the census should include all “residents.”
What does this mean? It means that if the Trump exclusion holds up, states — such as Texas, which is home to many thousands of residents who aren’t U.S. citizens — can be denied the congressional representation they deserve. In addition to counting all U.S. residents, we’re going to reapportion the House of Representatives alignment; Texas stands to gain as many as three more House members because of our state’s population growth since 2010.
As ABC News has reported:
Immigrant advocates who sued Trump over the policy stressed that the Court’s move does not mean the fight is over.
“This ruling does not authorize President Trump’s goal of excluding undocumented immigrants from the Census count used to apportion the House of Representatives,” said ACLU attorney Dale Ho. “The legal mandate is clear — every single person counts in the Census, and every single person is represented in Congress. If this policy is ever actually implemented, we’ll be right back in court challenging it.”
Yes, this ruling does involve undocumented immigrants. Indeed, that is the crux of the conservative argument in support of the Trump exclusion. Let’s not forget to include the so-called “Dreamers” who were brought here as young children by their parents who entered the nation illegally. Those folks once again are being punished unfairly because of something they could not control.
The Supreme Court has punted on this issue for now. My hope would be that judicial conservatives stick to the principle that they believe the founders had it right when they inscribed the method for counting every person who lives in this country.