The Supreme Court handed down their most consequential decisions of the current term.
Their opinions have the power to shape the contours of American politics for generations.
And Clarence Thomas issued this warning that is bad news for Donald Trump.
The Constitution mandates the federal government conduct a census once every ten years.
This practice determines the number of Congressional districts in each state as well as federal funding levels.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sought to include a question on the census – one that had been included up until 1960 – that asked for the respondent’s citizenship status.
Secretary Ross stated this question was intended to enhance the ability of the federal government to enforce the Voting Rights Act by increasing the power of Hispanic voters.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that there was a majority on the court to allow for the citizenship question, stating:
“That history matters. Here, as in other areas, our interpretation of the Constitution is guided by a Government practice that “has been open, widespread, and unchallenged since the early days of the Republic.” In light of the early understanding of and long practice under the Enumeration Clause, we conclude that it permits Congress, and by extension the Secretary, to inquire about citizenship on the census questionnaire.”
But then, in a strange five to four decision, Justice Roberts crafted a betrayal of the Trump administration by kicking the census question back to the lower court, claiming the Justices felt Ross lied about why he wanted to include the citizenship question on the census.
So, Justice Clarence Thomas authored a forceful dissent blasting the majority for their ridiculous reasoning in sending the case back to the lower court.
“The Court, however, goes further. For the first time ever, the Court invalidates an agency action solely because it questions the sincerity of the agency’s otherwise adequate rationale. Echoing the din of suspicion and distrust that seems to typify modern discourse, the Court declares the Secretary’s memorandum “pretextual” because, “viewing the evidence as a whole,” his explanation that including a citizenship question on the census would help enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA) “seems to have been contrived.” The Court does not hold that the Secretary merely had additional, unstated reasons for reinstating the citizenship question. Rather, it holds that the Secretary’s stated rationale did not factor at all into his decision,” Thomas wrote.
Thomas warned that this decision opened Pandora’s box by allowing political opponents of any given administration to claim the “pretext” for an administrative decision ran contrary to the stated reasoning behind any agency action, thus binding the hands of a President to implement his agenda.
“The Court’s holding reflects an unprecedented departure from our deferential review of discretionary agency decisions. And, if taken seriously as a rule of decision, this holding would transform administrative law. It is not difficult for political opponents of executive actions to generate controversy with accusations of pretext, deceit, and illicit motives. Significant policy decisions are regularly criticized as products of partisan influence, interest- group pressure, corruption, and animus. Crediting these accusations on evidence as thin as the evidence here could lead judicial review of administrative proceedings to devolve into an endless morass of discovery and policy disputes not contemplated by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA),” Thomas explained.
The census case was important to Democrats because they know that when the census counts illegal aliens for population purposes, the blue states like California will gain seats.
In addition, the Democrats will also be able to eliminate Republican-held seats in red states like Texas and Florida and replace them with freshly-drawn districts that guarantee a Democrat candidate wins the seat.
Great American Daily will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.