Former President Donald Trump’s administration spent years trying to add a census citizenship question as part of a secret strategy for altering the population numbers used to divide up seats in Congress and the Electoral College, internal documents released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee confirm.
Long kept from the public, the Trump administration memos and emails were disclosed by lawmakers following a more than two-year legal fight that began after Trump officials refused to turn them over for a congressional investigation. Citing the “exceptional circumstances” of the case, the Biden administration, which inherited the lawsuit last year, agreed to allow House oversight committee members and their staff to review the documents.
The hotly contested question — “Is this a person a citizen of the United States?” — ultimately did not end up on the 2020 census forms. In 2019, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s unprecedented efforts after finding its use of the Voting Rights Act as the stated reasoning for the question “seems to have been contrived,” as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. [Continue reading…]