Roll Tide: Alabama versus the Census

In Department of Commerce v. New York, Chief Justice Roberts joined with the Court's four social justice warriors (Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, Kagan) in refusing to uphold the Commerce Department's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The decision was important but should not be overblown.  Roberts's rationale was based on a narrow point and is remediable.  On the substance, he was with the four conservative justices. The flaw in the administration's approach is that the Department of Commerce chose to peg its decision to a need to obtain better information to enforce the Voting Rights Act.  No one believes this, and Roberts said, quoting a distinguished judge of his student days, "Our review is deferential, but we are 'not required to exhibit a naiveté from which ordinary citizens are free'" (Slip. Op. at 28).  He wants Commerce to level with the Court. And so it...(Read Full Article)
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