On June 19, Judge George J. Hazel of the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland issued the following order in a lawsuit brought by civil and immigrant rights advocates over the Trump administration's intended 2020 census question asking about citizenship status (Kravitz v. Department of Commerce) and a companion case (La Union del Pueblo Entero v. Ross);

"ORDER

For the reasons to be stated in a forthcoming Memorandum Opinion, it is ordered by the
United States District Court for the District of Maryland that Plaintiff's Request for Indicative Ruling under Rule 62, 1 (a), ECF No. 162, is GRANTED. The Court concludes that Plaintiff's Rule 60(b)(2) motion raises a substantial issue."


What is the "substantial issue" referred to in the above order? It was, without question that raised by the plaintiff's allegation in support of its motion that the Trump administration:

"actively concealed the truth behind the citizenship question for over a year"

and that

"The additional evidence shows that not only Kris Kobach...but also the very people who initiated and devised the spurious facade for the Secretary's decision - with his active participation - harbored a discriminatory animus."

See: PLAINTIFFS' REPLY IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF THEIR RULE 60(B)(2) MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM FINAL JUDGMENT & REQUEST FOR INDICATIVE RULING UNDER RULE 62.1(A)

What was the additional evidence referred to in the above motion? NPR explains as follows:

"A major Republican redistricting strategist played a role in the Trump administration's push to get a citizenship question on forms for the 2020 census. Thomas Hofeller, who died last August, concluded in a 2015 report that adding the question would produce the data needed to redraw political maps that would be 'advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites'..."

See, May 30:

Thomas Hofeller Played Role in Push For 2020 Citizenship Question

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/30/28232221/gop-redistricting-strategist-played-role-in-push-for-census-citizenship-question

A later (June 15) NPR report provides more details: See:

Citizenship Question Emails Connect Thomas Hofeller With Christa Jones

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/15/732669380/emails-connect-census-official-with-gop-strategist-on-citizenship-question

"These new revelations follow earlier discoveries from Hofeller's hard drives, which were discovered by his estranged daughter after he died last year. They include a document with a paragraph about using the Voting Rights Act as a justification for a citizenship question...

Emails released Friday [June 14] show that Christa Jones, a long time Census Bureau employee who currently serves as chief of staff to the bureau's deputy director, Ron Jarmin - has been in contact with Hofeller as early as 2010, using both her official Census Bureau email address and a Hotmail address. In a January 2015 email, Jones sent a link to a Federal Register notice that asked for public comments ahead of field test of potential changes in Census questions.

'This can also be an opportunity to mention citizenship as well,' Jones added in a follow-up email the next day.

Months later, Hofeller would go on to complete his unpublished study outlining how census responses to a citizenship question could be used to draw political maps that would diminish the voting power of Latinx people."


While these contacts were obviously initiated before the Trump administration came to power, the above evidence overwhelmingly shows that the Trump administrations claim that the citizenship question is being included to help protect the voting rights of racial minorities is a total lie, concocted solely for the purpose of deceiving the federal courts about the real reason for the census question.


If committing a massive, egregious, purposely and deliberately calculated fraud upon the federal courts about a matter that could affect voting rights and political power in the US for a generation or more to come is not a "High Crime and Misdemeanor" not merely meriting, but demanding impeachment of the president, what is?

The census citizenship question is nothing less than an attempt to destroy America's democracy by distorting the electoral process to cement the power of one party, representing one group of voters, whites only.

If House Democrats are unable to summon up the courage to begin impeachment proceedings now, when will they take action to save our democracy? Or will they wait until it is too late, after Donald Trump, who has shown his contempt and disregard for democratic values and procedures in his immigration agenda and in many other ways over and over again, has already become America's dictator for life?



Roger Algase
Attorney at Law