On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said there is a legal path President Trump can take to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census despite the United States Supreme Court directly ruling against it late last month.
The Western Journal reports Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion, “The reasoned explanation requirement of administrative law, after all, is meant to ensure that agencies offer genuine justifications for important decisions, reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public.”
“Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise. If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case,” the statement continued.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, President Trump has repeatedly said he is looking for other avenues to add the question to the 2020 census including an executive order directing the Commerce Department to add it.
According to the report, Barr said the high court’s ruling “was wrong,” effectively giving the green light to Trump to add the question to the census:
The last time the federal government included a question about a person’s citizenship status was for the 1950 census.
Barr told the Associated Press that he has been in consultation with President Donald Trump concerning the issue.
“I agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong,” Barr said.
The attorney general added 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.”
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“You need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress, for districting. You need it for appropriations: Where are the funds going, how many people are there, are they citizens, are they not citizens? You need it for many reasons,” Trump said via the Hill, justifying his interest in adding the question.
Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that he has four or five options and is “thinking about” an executive order. He also said his administration could begin printing the 2020 census and later include the question as part of an addendum.
“We’re thinking about doing that, it’s one of the ways,” Trump told reporters before departing the White House for his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., noting that administration officials are “doing very well” on the issue.
He also weighed in on the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the citizenship question, specifically addressing Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision to side with liberal justices in ruling against the administration.
“I have a lot of respect for Justice Roberts — but he didn’t like it, but he did say come back,” Trump said. “We could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision.”