Author Topic: Census Shenanigans  (Read 243 times)

yossarian22c

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Census Shenanigans
« on: July 24, 2020, 01:13:32 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2020/07/21/892340508/with-no-final-say-trump-wants-to-change-who-counts-for-dividing-up-congress-seat
https://www.npr.org/2020/07/21/892340508/with-no-final-say-trump-wants-to-change-who-counts-for-dividing-up-congress-seat

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The memo instructs Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Commerce Department, to include in the legally required report of census results to the president "information permitting the President, to the extent practicable" to leave out the number of immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization from the apportionment count.


Constitution says:

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Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State...

I'm interested in seeing how the conservatives who don't adhere to the living document theory defend this policy by somehow arguing undocumented immigrants are "non-persons."

TheDeamon

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 04:14:30 PM »
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Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

14th Amendment, section 2:
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Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one(18) years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one(18) years of age in such State.
Made some strike through entries to reflect the voting franchise subsequently being granted to 18-year-olds, and members of both genders.

It presents an interesting constitutional argument and interpretation game that can be played on this.

The 14th Amendment seems to be clearly talking about enumerating citizens and other persons (Indians not taxed) with a legal presence in the country. Article  1, section 2 also seems to be assuming that as well. As prior to about 50 years ago, the idea that the Government would knowingly and willfully allow a sufficiently large population of people to accumulate within its borders who are neither citizens, or legally authorized to be there as to impact the apportionment of congressional seats to be completely mind-boggling.

It probably would have boggled the minds of many people even as late as the early 1990's shortly after the Reagan Amnesty for many illegals.

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The argument could be cut in both directions on that. A very literal interpretation would likely say illegals get counted. But once you start bringing intent into the mix, that's not so clear. Going by recent SCotUS rulings however, Trump would likely lose that fight in court.

But there is "the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one(18) years of age in such State" to contend with in both literal readings and intent.

An argument CAN be made that provisions for "the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such" in the 14th Amendment could be applied with regard to non-citizens in the country, as it makes clear that Congressional representation is supposed to be proportional to the number of (potential) voters in an area(unless otherwise explicitly exempted by the 14th amendment).

If you are not a citizen(or have "a pathway to citizenship"), you simply don't count for the purpose of apportionment. (Because the 14th Amendment assumed that the United States from then on would only have Native Americans, Citizens, and potential citizens within its borders in any kind of substantial number.

Edit to add: While I think it is an argument that can be made, and there possibly are a few others as well, it doesn't mean I think they are particularly strong ones. But on the same token, I guess I'm getting a taste of how the Abolitionists felt on the matter of enumerating the slaves during the Constitutional Convention.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 04:26:00 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDeamon

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 04:35:19 PM »
In any case, the illegal immigrant situation in general is abhorrent, and it should never have reached the point of being bad enough to have constitutional implications.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 04:31:03 PM »
Does the Constitution say you don't count tourists for the Census? That you cannot count them?

TheDrake

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 05:06:33 PM »
Does the Constitution say you don't count tourists for the Census? That you cannot count them?

As you know, the census asks where you live. Tourists don't live here. Legal immigrants and illegal residents count. Always have, always should. They are paying taxes of many kinds. They require services of many kinds.

TheDeamon

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 12:26:15 AM »
Does the Constitution say you don't count tourists for the Census? That you cannot count them?

As you know, the census asks where you live. Tourists don't live here. Legal immigrants and illegal residents count. Always have, always should. They are paying taxes of many kinds. They require services of many kinds.

That's the modern use of the Census, that doesn't directly relate to the constitutional use for the Census. And it should be noted that Trump's Executive Order specifically restricted enumerations for the purpose of apportionment, so the other head counting can still process and be tallied for other purposes as per normal.

But likewise, in the modern era, we have large numbers of "snow birds," something which likely would have completely blown the minds of the Founding Fathers 200+ years ago, sure they might have heard about a very small number of people who did something comparable even back then, but they were exceptions more than anything else.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 01:25:49 AM »
Exactly. There is a difference between what the Constitution says and what the Census Bureau does. The Constitution doesn't explicitly exempt tourists from the Census just like it doesn't explicitly exempt people living here illegally.

TheDrake

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 02:38:14 AM »
Exactly. There is a difference between what the Constitution says and what the Census Bureau does. The Constitution doesn't explicitly exempt tourists from the Census just like it doesn't explicitly exempt people living here illegally.

I'm convinced. Any tourist who wants to submit a census form, cool. We know that wouldn't happen, wouldn't move the needle, and wouldn't be a problem.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Census Shenanigans
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2020, 03:01:34 PM »
That's one option. A little late now though. Have we been violating the Constitution all this time by not counting tourists for apportionment? Not likely. The Founding Fathers obviously suffered from a lack of imagination as far as both tourists and people in the country illegally being the huge problem it's become. The other option besides counting tourists for the census and apportionment is the Trump plan which is perfectly reasonable.

Opposing it is the Democrat Party literally colluding with foreigners to influence and manipulate American elections.