Despite the popular perception that Donald Trump can away with whatever he wants, many of his shenanigans end up failing – often due to Trump’s sheer incompetence when it comes to attempted overreach. Trump lost the 2020 census battle two weeks ago, and everyone (including his own Department of Commerce) knows it but him. Last night, however, Trump seemed to finally figure out that he’s not getting his way.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that the Trump regime couldn’t include a citizenship question on the 2020 census because it lied about its reason for wanting to do it. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand that the Supreme Court is in charge of deciding constitutionality, and that he doesn’t get to somehow magically override it. So after the DOJ lawyers in charge of the census matter threw up their hands and gave up, Trump decided to send some new DOJ lawyers into court yesterday. The judge ruled that this wasn’t allowed.
Instead of simply accepting that judges get to make these decisions – and that lower court judges are going to abide by the framework that the Supreme Court just handed down – Donald Trump decided to blame his own inept failure on President Obama. No, really. He tweeted this: “So now the Obama appointed judge on the Census case (Are you a Citizen of the United States?) won’t let the Justice Department use the lawyers that it wants to use. Could this be a first?”
As a matter of fact, this is a first, in that no previous U.S. President has tried to simply march back into lower court and wave a magic wand after the Supreme Court laid down the law. Donald Trump think he’s above the law, and he doesn’t even think he has to do a particularly competent job of flouting the law. That’s a big part of why he’s not getting his way on the census, and why his antics fail as often as they succeed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report