April 23, 2019; New York Times
Last week, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York et al. At issue: can the Census include a question regarding the surveyed families’ citizenship in its decennial survey? The federal government made a dubious claim that doing so would boost Voting Rights Act enforcement. Critics suggest the question is designed to depress the census count in communities of color, especially immigrant communities—thereby shifting money, resources, and power away from these groups.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank notes that “Census Bureau research has projected a drop of at least 5.1 percent from noncitizen households if the question is added, part of an estimated undercount of 6.5 million people.” This data was cited in last weeks’ oral arguments. Milbank’s article bore the sardonic subtitle, “How to preserve white power in four easy steps.” These steps are: 1) devise a discriminatory policy, 2) create