And the high court issued its ruling based on a technicality, at best.
“The court's majority said the government has the right to ask a citizenship question, but that it needs to properly justify changing the long-standing practice of the Census Bureau,” NBC News reported, noting that Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the 5-4 ruling that the president’s reasoning for wanting to add the question seemed “contrived.”
While we’re not sure when, exactly, Roberts became a mind-reader, the fact is, President Trump remained undaunted by the goofy ruling.
On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order excluding aliens living illegally in the U.S. from being counted by the census for the purposes of apportioning electors and members of Congress to the states.
The memo says that it will become the “policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
As such, the order instructs Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (the U.S. Census Bureau falls under Commerce) to provide the president with information on the number of illegal immigrants so they can be excluded from the population totals that determine how many congressmen a state can have.
“We will collect all of the information we need to conduct an accurate census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress,” he said.
In a separate report, NBC News noted:
The administration argues that the U.S. Constitution does not specifically define which "persons" must be included in the apportionment base, noting that documented immigrants who are in the country temporarily and certain foreign diplomatic personnel are "persons" who have been excluded from the apportionment base in past censuses.
It was not immediately clear how undocumented immigrants would be identified in order to omit them from the census count. The census questionnaire, which was distributed in March, did not require respondents to indicate whether they or others in their household are citizens.
Granted, it’s not very likely that the president got up Tuesday morning and said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna issue and executive order excluding illegal aliens from the Census so we can bring our apportionment of electors in line with the number of citizens in states.’ (Related: California should be stripped of Electoral College votes due to high number of illegals in the CA census.)
There obviously is a strategy to determine how to determine whether or not someone is in the country illegally.
But the bigger question is this: Can the president really do this?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) doesn’t think so, which isn’t surprising given the organization’s Left-wing extremist bent.
“BREAKING: Trump tried to add a citizenship question to the census and lost in the Supreme Court. His latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities WILL be found unconstitutional. We’ll see him in court — and win — again,” the organization said in a tweet.
“The Constitution requires that everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census. President Trump can’t pick and choose,” said ACLU Voting Rights Project director Dale Ho.
Yes, well, the Constitution says count everyone, that’s true. But it doesn’t say that illegal aliens have to be considered in the apportionment of electors and congressional representatives.
Trump hinted that something like this was coming during his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday.
“…[W]e’re signing a health care plan within two weeks. A full and complete health care plan that the Supreme Court decision on DACA gave me the right to do. So we're going to solve -- we're going to sign an immigration plan, a health care plan, and various other plans. And nobody will have done what I'm doing in the next four weeks,” he said.