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Meanwhile, the Current Supreme Court Justices Have Been Busy Little Beavers

Published on October 14, 2020 9:38 AM
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While we all were watching the slow construction of a relatively permanent 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, the members of the current 5-3 conservative majority have been busy little beavers. From NPR:

Last-minute changes by the Census Bureau and its skirting of an earlier court order for the count have left local communities and the bureau's workers across the country unsure of how much longer they can take part in a national head count already upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Lower courts previously ordered the administration to keep counting through Oct. 31, reverting to an extended schedule Trump officials had first proposed in April in response to delays caused by COVID-19 and then abruptly decided to abandon in July. More time, judges have ruled, would give the bureau a better chance of getting an accurate and complete count of the country's residents, which is used to determine how political representation and federal funding are distributed among the states over the next decade.
In short, the administration* can pull the plug on the 2020 census, pandemic be damned.

Given the current circumstances, there is no good reason for the Court to step in here. The pandemic has circumscribed the ability of census-takers to go door-to-door. The exigencies of the pandemic alone should be enough to loosen up any previously announced deadline. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent of the Court's decision:

Meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the Census is not a cost worth paying...The harms caused by rushing this year?s census count are irreparable. And respondents will suffer their lasting impact for at least the next 10 years.
Up until now, the Court has been skeptical of the administration*'s attempts to monkey wrench the Census to its own advantage. Chief Justice John Roberts just about laughed out loud at the administration*'s attempt to add a citizenship question. But this decision reverses a ...