Update, July 11, 6:30 pm:

CNN now reports that Trump has officially given up on trying to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census, thereby avoiding what would have been crossing the Rubicon leading to abandoning democracy and bringing full scale Fascism to America by sitting himself up above the US Supreme Court.

This is a great victory for everyone who wants to keep America's democracy and stop this countries slide into a white nationalist dictatorship under the Trump regime.

It also shows that when the American people find the courage to resist Trump's creeping Fascism, he can be forced to back down and give in to the rule of law.

Trump's surrender on this issue also means that millions of Latino and other brown immigrants will be counted in the 2020 census as human beings, not relegated to the Orwellian shadows as "Unpersons"

See, CNN, July 11:

Trump Backs Away from census citizenship question, directs agencies to hand over citizenship information to Commerce


My previous comments appear below:

Update, January 11 at 2:10 pm:

The WP's always perceptive columnist Jennifer Rubin, who follows Trump very closely and has the courage to speak out about his threat to our democracy, suggests that if Trump tires to defy the court with an executive order on the census citizenship question, then the Democrats will no longer have any excuses to avoid impeaching him. See, July 11:

With census order, Trump would seek to defy the courts

If the Democrats don't take action and let Trump get away with this, that could be the end of America's democracy.

My original comment follows.

Trump's latest threat to defy the Supreme Court's ruling and direct the Commerce Department to include the citizenship question, which would almost certainly cause a massive under count of millions of Latino and other minorities living in the United States, would not only make them "Unpersons" in the Orwellian manner which describes so much of Trump's immigration agenda. It would do more.

And executive order or memorandum ordering inclusion of the citizenship question despite the Supreme Court's (temporarily) blocking the use of this bigoted question would lead to what is euphemistically being called a "Constitutional Crisis" - placing the president above the courts and removing any legal restraints.

But there is another, and more accurate, word for what Trump is threatening - Fascism.

Garrett Epps, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Baltimore, writes the following in The Atlantic (July 8):

"If the administration rushes back to the Court for a mulligan [i.e. second attempt to have the citizenship question approved with a new false argument for using the question] it will almost certainly be denied. And here's where Trump's truculent tone becomes more chilling. Because the next step, would, logically, be a claim that the executive can ignore the Court.

That probably won't happen, i say with hollow assurance. Even many devotees of the near dictatorial "unitary executive" would, I hope, draw the line at Andrew Jackson style defiance. Most likely Trump, like the angry drunk in the shelter, will talk himself down.

But the idea is now in the room, and may be hard to banish as new defeats mount up...

Less than three years into the Trump era, we are becoming accommodated to dark times."


The Census Case Could Provoke a Constitutional Crisis


The "dark times" that Professor Epps refers to may be coming sooner than we think. The Washington Post reports on the morning of July 11 that Trump will hold a news conference later this same day at which he may announce that he will issue an executive order directing inclusion of the citizenship question in the census, in direct defiance of the Supreme Court. See:

Trump to hold news conference on census as he mulls executive action to add a citizenship question


If that happens, it means that the Will of America's Leader will become the Law of the Land. The federal courts, including the Supreme Court, will no longer be able to stand in the way of Donald Trump's drive to absolute power. That is pure fascism. There is no other word or words that fit as well.

This comment will be updated in the light of ongoing developments.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law