Trump is reportedly considering an executive order that would put the citizenship question back on the 2020 census:
AXIOS – President Trump is considering an executive order to try to move forward with a citizenship question on the 2020 census, top sources tell Jonathan Swan and me.
- “We didn’t come this far just to throw in the towel,” said a senior administration official with direct knowledge of the conversations.
Administration lawyers are exploring various legal options.
- A senior legal source said: “The administration is considering the appropriateness of an executive order that would address the constitutional need for the citizenship question to be included in the 2020 census.”
- But there is considerable skepticism within the administration that an executive order would succeed.
Why it matters: Trump’s insistence on pushing ahead with the question, potentially without doing the legwork the Supreme Court called for, reflects his expansive view of executive power.
- A source familiar with some of the administration’s internal deliberations said: “I think that there’s a good argument to be made that even though the president may lose in litigation at the end of the day, going through that process ultimately makes it clear that it’s the chief justice, and not the Executive Branch, that bears responsibility for that unfortunate outcome.”
Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig, who has longtime ties to officials in the administration, told Axios:
- “If the president of the United States were to issue an executive order, supported by his full Article II powers, directing that the citizenship question be included in the 2020 census, I believe the Supreme Court would affirm the constitutional power of the president to include the citizenship question in the census.”
It would be interesting if the Supreme Court upheld an executive order by Trump on this issue when they rejected it coming from the Commerce Department.
Really though, it’s kinda ridiculous that the administration would even have to go this route. They have the constitutional authority to add the question and that’s the side John Roberts should have come down on.
We really need Trump to put another solid justice on the high court because Roberts is just too wishy-washy on big issues (remember Obamacare?).