Donald Trump lost his 2020 census battle when the Supreme Court ruled that his rationale for the citizenship question was bogus, and when his own Department of Commerce admitted that there was no time to try again with a new rationale before the census needed to be printed. But that wasn’t good enough for Trump, who ordered his Department of Justice to come up with a new legal strategy. It’s bombed in court already.
Trump’s DOJ settled on strategy of going back into court with new government lawyers, and arguing a new rationale for the citizenship question that apparently never did get fleshed out. Trump hurt his own legal case when he publicly stated last week that the new rationale was because he wanted to base congressional representation on citizenship instead of total population, which the Supreme Court ruled against just a couple years ago. But as it turns out, Team Trump’s new rationale isn’t even its most immediate problem in court.
The census matter was reassigned to a different set of DOJ lawyers, ostensibly because the DOJ lawyers originally handling the case weren’t willing to go back into court with a half-baked new case and lie about the old case. The new lawyers handling the case are apparently craven enough to be willing to take on a corrupt case and argue it dishonestly. That’s a bad enough idea to begin with, before getting to the part where the judge threw it out.
Judge Jesse Furman ruled today that Donald Trump’s DOJ can’t simply swap out its lawyers on the census case, as documented by Raw Story, thus essentially laughing Team Trump out of court. This means Trump will have to hand the census case back to the old lawyers, who apparently don’t want it anymore. This is a train wreck in the making.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report