Take a wild guess as to who appointed the judge who made this decision…
From Seattle Times: A federal judge blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from asking about citizenship status on the 2020 census, the first major ruling in cases contending that officials ramrodded the question through for Republican political purposes to intentionally undercount immigrants.
In a 277-page decision that won’t be the final word on the issue, Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled that while such a question would be constitutional, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had added it arbitrarily and not followed proper administrative procedures.
“He failed to consider several important aspects of the problem; alternately ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued the evidence in the record before him; acted irrationally both in light of that evidence and his own stated decisional criteria; and failed to justify significant departures from past policies and practices,” Furman wrote.
Ross’ explanations for his decision were “unsupported by, or even counter to, the evidence before the agency,” the judge said.
Among other things, the judge said, Ross didn’t follow a law requiring that he give Congress three years notice of any plan to add a question about citizenship to the census.
The ruling came in cases in which 18 states, the District of Columbia, and 15 big cities or counties, and immigrants’ rights groups argued that the Commerce Department, which designs the census, had failed to properly analyze the effect the question would have on households where immigrants live.
A trial on a separate suit on the same issue, filed by the state of California, is underway in San Francisco. The U.S. Supreme Court is also poised to address the issue Feb. 19, meaning the legal issue is far from decided for good.
“We are disappointed and are still reviewing the ruling,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco said in a statement.
In the New York case, the plaintiffs accused the administration of Republican President Donald Trump of adding the question to intentionally discourage immigrants from participating, which could lead to a population undercount — and possibly fewer seats in Congress — in places that tend to vote Democratic.
Even people in the U.S. legally, they said, might dodge the census questionnaire out of fears they could be targeted by a hostile administration.
Read the whole story here.
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