The U.S. Commerce department advanced a reason for the citizenship question in the 2020 census. Department head, Wilbur Ross tried to claim the question was included to help enforce the Voting RightsAct. But, the lower court, in an opinion which was affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, found the reason to be “contrived.” That is, the lower court found the reason to be fabricated. See the decision in Commerce Department v. New York, No. 18-996 (6/27/2019) here. The district court judge was not happy to see the President’s tweet indicating the Administration would seek further reasons justifying the citizenship question.

This really should be obvious, but apparently it is not. Whatever reason the Administration comes up with now will also look contrived. It should be obvious that whatever the real reason was, it should have been advanced when this lawsuit started 18 months ago. We have to consider at this point that the Administration is remarkably incompetent. It is one thing to fabriacate reasons when a lawsuit is joined. But, to state publicly that your first reason failed, so you will now dig even deeper to find the “real” reason why you did something.  Engaging in such an exercise acknolwedges that you are again contriving.

The DOJ lawyers at that Friday meeting told Judge Hazel they were seeking alternative ways to include the citizenship question in the 2020 census. That means the lawsuit will proceed. See CNN news report.

Discrimination cases are similar. Employers will advance a reason for the termination – other than discrimination. If that reason fails, the employer is essentially done. Any additional, “new” reason will of course be suspect. There is a principle of law that an employer ought to know why it fired someone. If it changes reasons, that change in itself suggests prevarication.Just as a Commerce department ought to know why it included a citizenship question.

Yet, this administration persists in looking for a new reason. As if no one notices that they ought to know why they did something just two years ago in 2017…………