On CNN Wednesday morning, John Avlon sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s administration for leaning on the Supreme Court to let him politicize the 2020 Census — skewing the numbers in ways that help Republicans win elections.
“You’ve gotta hand it to the Trump administration — they’ve got a knack for weaponizing just about anything, including something as boring as counting people,” said Avlon, quoting a federal judge who noted Trump’s attempt to add a partisan citizenship question “threatens the very foundation of our democratic system.”
“The Census, of course, is the constitutionally mandated counting of everyone in the country every ten years,” said Avlon. “When I said everyone, I meant everyone, citizens and non-citizens alike. And this is by design, because the Census is supposed to accurately count the U.S. population, and then use it to determine everything from the way political districts are drawn to the allocation of some $880 billion in federal funds for constituents.”
Avlon then noted that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lied to Congress when he said the citizenship question was a Justice Department request to comply with the Voting Rights Act — in fact, the DOJ and the Census Bureau both opposed the question. “Turns out Ross was under pressure from immigration hardliners like Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach,” Avlon notes, who explicitly stated the question’s purpose was to avoid counting “aliens,” even though “that’s how the Census is supposed to work.”
“It might not surprise you to know that study after study shows that such a question would depress responses among the non-citizen population by as much as 5 percent,” Avlon continued, as people will fear handing their information over to an administration that is obsessed with detention and deportation.
Although three federal courts ruled Ross’ justification for the question was a lie and he did not follow proper administrative procedure, Avlon noted, “The first thing the Supremes did was to shield him from testifying under oath.” Moreover, he added, the Court’s five conservatives seemed inclined to let the administration move forward.
“This case could impact American politics for more than a decade,” Avlon warned. “Undercounting our actual population, benefiting Republicans in redistricting by design while depriving more populous Democratic districts of millions in federal funding for their constituents. And whatever the Court decides, we know that this proposed change was born not out of principle, but to gain partisan advantage.”
President Trump just tweeted about the Supreme Court case adding a citizenship question to the census. @johnavlon says: “We know that this proposed change was born not out of principle but to gain partisan advantage.” https://t.co/tYmMzpVK11 #RealityCheck pic.twitter.com/GBTBgBKtY1
— New Day (@NewDay) April 24, 2019
‘There is great distrust of the entire system’: CNN reporter says protesters want the Hennepin attorney to resign
On CNN Wednesday, correspondent Miguel Marquez reported that while Minnesota civil rights activists will approve of the upgraded charges against the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, they also want accountability for Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney who initially declined to charge every officer.
"Those protesters will be pleased, absolutely happy to hear these charges have now been brought, but they will want more," said Marquez. "Specifically, they do want the County Attorney, Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney, who initially had this case and then turned it over to the attorney general, they want him to resign. They're also upset with the governor and his handling of it."
Black students brutalized by Atlanta cops call for ‘total reset in policing’ on CNN
The two black students who were brutalized by police in Atlanta went on CNN Wednesday to demand fundamental change from American police departments.
In an interview on CNN, students Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, who were pulled out of their car by Atlanta police and tased earlier this week, said that police behavior toward peaceful demonstrators shows exactly why protesters are taking to the streets in the first place.
Even evangelical groups were disgusted by Trump’s Bible stunt: former White House faith adviser
On CNN Tuesday, former Obama White House faith and race adviser Joshua Dubois said President Donald Trump's Bible photo-op in front of the church near the White House could backfire on him with his most critical voting bloc.
"I thought it was farcical. And it is kind of blowing up in his face even in the faith community and communities that support, him like some conservative evangelical communities," said Dubois. "The reason is Jesus stood up for everyday people, including the vulnerable, and didn't believe in false displays of piety, and yesterday President Trump ordered — or was okay with — everyday people being gassed and shot with rubber bullets in order to make his way to a false display of piety."