The Citizenship Question Could Tell Us Just How Hackish the Supreme Court Has Become

Fred Schilling, Supreme Court Curator's Office

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Last Friday, President Trump suggested that he might sign an executive order putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. I hope he does it.

Here’s why. First of all, it would almost certainly fail. It would be in court instantly along with a request for emergency appeal directly to the Supreme Court, which would be granted. The five justices who voted against the citizenship question originally would also vote to overturn the executive order and that would be the end of things.

But it would also give us a chance to learn something about the other four justices. Even though they originally voted to allow the citizenship question, they should agree that the Court ruled against it and the president is bound by its ruling. Even in what the justices might consider a righteous cause, presidents aren’t allowed to flout a Supreme Court ruling. That should produce a quick, unanimous opinion.

If it doesn’t, it will tell us something important about just how hackish the four conservatives are. And that in turn will tell us something important about whether and what we should do about it.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate