Supreme Court Might Not Consider New Evidence Showing Trump Administration’s Intent With Census Change

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As The Inquisitr detailed, digital files belonging to a dead Republican strategist reveal some of the Trump administration’s motivation in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. There has since been some question as to whether or not the Supreme Court, which is currently deliberating on the constitutionality of the question, would consider the new evidence as they formulate an opinion. The computer files belonged to the late Thomas Hofeller, whose consulting is credited with helping to develop the voting district maps which ultimately helped to tip the scales in favor of the Republican Party, allowing them to take control of the House of Representatives in 2010.

Hofeller had conducted a study which concluded that a citizenship question would adversely affect Latinos and be a clear disadvantage for Democrats.

In addition to realizing the political opportunity of such a question, Hofeller also helped to advocate for the question’s addition, including his ghostwriting of a Justice Department letter requesting that the Department of Commerce add it to the census for 2020. Instead of citing partisan electoral advantages, however, he framed the request as helping the DOJ enforce voting rights.

Those electoral advantages, though, were very apparent to Hofeller and other insiders involved.

“A switch to the use of citizen voting age population as the redistricting population base for redistricting would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,” read the study’s conclusion.

Now, however, it appears that the new evidence related to Hofeller may not be considered at all by the Supreme Court, as The Daily Beast reports.

The ACLU and other legal advocacy groups have asked that Judge Jesse Furman allow expedited discovery in the case, which would allow for further probing for additional information. Even if that were to happen, from a procedural point of view, it would be challenging for the Supreme Court to make use of any new information.

To do so, the Court would need to send the case back to the district level in order to admit the new evidence.

Practically speaking, that would render their ultimate decision moot, as by the time the case returned to the Supreme Court, census forms for 2020 would already be printed.

“This new evidence shows there was [a] plan to undermine the integrity of our Census, manipulate redistricting and rig the elections for partisan advantage,” said Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director of Common Cause, a non-profit organization that advocates for voting rights and transparency in government.

How the Supreme Court will weigh such information remains to be seen.