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Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe warns the census fight isn’t over: Here’s the new way Trump wants to rig elections for a decade

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On Thursday, after much raging and storming at the Supreme Court and threats to defy their decision, President Donald Trump announced that he is officially giving up the fight to change the 2020 Census to interrogate people about citizenship status — and will be directing federal agencies to obtain citizenship data through other means, like administrative records and more limited surveys.

It was a huge victory for voting rights, as the Trump and his allies have sought to use the inclusion of such a question to intimidate minorities out of responding to the census at all, undercounting millions of people in disproportionately nonwhite, Democratic parts of the country and denying them funding and representation.

But as Harvard Law professor and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe warned, the fight is not over. In fact, the seeds of Trump’s next, and possibly even worse, scheme to rig American democracy was hidden in Trump’s announcement of his alternate proposal for collecting citizenship data.

“Some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter eligible population,” said Trump. “Indeed, the same day the Supreme Court handed down the census decision, it also said it would not review certain types of districting decisions, which could encourage states to make such decisions based on voter eligibility.”

This meaning is clear: Trump’s purpose in collecting citizenship data is to encourage states to draw districts based on the “voter eligible population,” rather than the total population, which is historically how every state has done so. As Tribe explained, the consequences of that could be huge:

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Evenwel v. Abbott was a Supreme Court decision in 2015, in which the justices unanimously ruled that it is constitutional for states to use the total population in legislative apportionment. Crucially though, the court did not rule that it was mandatory to do so — and Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote that they believe states are free to choose to only count eligible voters if they wish. All of this hints that if GOP-controlled states decide to take up Trump on his suggestion and only count eligible voters for district lines, the federal courts will not stand in their way.

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If states do this, the consequences could go much farther than just noncitizens. Millions upon millions of citizens are not “voter eligible,” like children and prisoners, and if states are free to exclude them as they wish, it would supercharge gerrymandering even further, particularly impacting racially diverse, Democratic cities where mass incarceration comes down hardest. Such cities could lose dozens of legislative seats around the country — and the average seat would become whiter and more Republican.

As Tribe makes clear, this is an outcome that Trump seems to openly want. And he can do all of this even without putting a citizenship question directly on the census.

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Man who believed ‘the Bible is for white people’ gets life in prison after setting black man on fire in gruesome murder

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A white man from Tennessee has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering a black man by setting him on fire while he slept.

The Daily News Journal reports that 53-year-old John Carothers has pleaded guilty to murdering Robert Miller, a housemate who lived with him at the Frazier Young Supportive Living, which is a home for people with intellectual disabilities.

According to prosecutors, Carothers in March 2018 doused Miller in lighter fluid while he was asleep in his bed and then lit him on fire. Miller would subsquently die from burn-related injuries at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

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‘There’s no racial tension’: Trump claims ‘fantastic relationships’ with black people after ‘go back’ tweet

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President Donald Trump asserted on Monday that he has "fantastic relationships" with the black community after he told four congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from.

At a White House meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump was asked if he was experiencing any blowback from the African-American community.

"There’s no racial tension," the president said, according to a pool report. "We have fantastic relationships with the African American community and I think you’ll see that in 2020."

Via pooler @DavidNakamura: T"rump says: 'There’s no racial tension.' Trump notes low unemployment for black Americans. 'We have fantastic relationships with the African American community and I think you’ll see that in 2020.' "

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Yale psychiatrist explains the root of Trump’s ‘pathological racism’

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On Monday morning, President Donald Trump once again escalated his conflict with "the Squad," the group of freshman Congresswomen of color he told to go back to their own countries. Although moderate Republicans had hoped last week that the President would tone down his remarks, on Monday he once again doubled down on Twitter.

"The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!" he tweeted.

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