Attorney General William Barr has reportedly found a way to keep legally add the citizenship question to the upcoming 2020 census, in spite of a Supreme Court ruling that was thought likely to block the inclusion of the question.
“In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said the Trump administration will take action in the coming days that he believes will allow the government to ask the controversial question. Barr would not detail the administration’s plans, though a senior official said President Donald Trump is expected to issue a presidential memorandum to the Commerce Department instructing it to include the question,” the AP reported.
The June Supreme Court ruling that was a huge roadblock on the question’s path to the census, has been argued by experts who believe that the question will discourage illegal immigrants from answering, and thus divert money away from densely populated areas, traditionally under Democratic rule.
Barr said during his interview that he has been working closely with President Donald Trump on the issue:
“I agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong,” said Barr. He said he believes there is “an opportunity potentially to cure the lack of clarity that was the problem and we might as well take a shot at doing that.”
As the administration deals with their side of the potentially controversial addition, the Justice Department has reportedly made changes in it’s legal team that oversees this matter:
“Since these cases began, the lawyers representing the United States in these cases have given countless hours to defending the Commerce Department and have consistently demonstrated the highest professionalism, integrity and skill inside and outside the courtroom,” department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement according to the AP.
On Friday, the DOJ released a statement saying that it will pursue the option of questioning the citizenship, despite a court setback, possibly leaning on an executive order which President Donald Trump has indicated that he would be willing to issue.
“The Supreme Court ruled last week the administration had failed to articulate an adequate explanation for the push, essentially scuttling efforts to immediately add the question to the census forms,” according to a report by Fox News.
“The administration, though, had given mixed signals about its plans, and federal Judge George Hazel of Maryland had ordered government lawyers to respond by Friday afternoon about their intentions.”
“The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Commerce have been asked to reevaluate all available options following the Supreme Court’s decision and whether the Supreme Court’s decision would allow for a new decision to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Decennial Census,” the filing said.
“In the event the Commerce Department adopts a new rationale for including the citizenship question on the 2020 Decennial Census consistent with the decisions of the Supreme Court, the Government will immediately notify this Court so that it can determine whether there is any need for further proceedings or relief.”