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PoliticsDOJ fires back at allegations over GOP strategist's role in census citizenship question

05:00  04 june  2019
05:00  04 june  2019 Source:   thehill.com

New filings allege GOP redistricting motivation behind census citizenship question

New filings allege GOP redistricting motivation behind census citizenship question New filings in a case challenging adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census allege that gaining a GOP redistricting advantage motivated the addition of the question. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The documents, revealed Thursday, focus on the role of late Republican redistricting specialist Thomas Hofeller in orchestrating the addition of and offering an explanation for adding the citizenship question.

The Department of Justice ( DOJ ) on Monday sought to refute new allegations that a GOP redistricting operative played a significant role in getting a citizenship question on the 2020 census , calling the claims false and without merit.

GOP Redistricting Strategist Played Role In Push For Census Citizenship Question 3:52. A major Republican redistricting strategist played a role in the Trump administration' s push to get a "These unfounded allegations are an unfortunate last-ditch effort to derail the Supreme Court' s consideration

DOJ fires back at allegations over GOP strategist's role in census citizenship question© iStock DOJ fires back at allegations over GOP strategist's role in census citizenship question

The Department of Justice on Monday sought to refute new allegations that a GOP redistricting operative played a significant role in getting a citizenship question on the 2020 census, calling the claims false and without merit.

In a new court filing, DOJ lawyers offered a biting rebuke to the allegations made against Trump administration officials of attempting to obscure the role of the late GOP operative Thomas Hofeller in adding the citizenship question.

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question The Oversight Committee wants key documents by Thursday.

If the question is included on the census , Census Bureau research shows it is highly likely to scare households with noncitizens, especially within the Ross oversees the Census Bureau and approved adding the question . Both Gore and the adviser, A. Mark Neuman, sat for questioning under oath

over the citizenship question the Trump administration wants to add to the 2020 census . strategist played a role in the Trump administration' s push to get a citizenship question on forms Ross oversees the Census Bureau and approved adding the question . Both Gore and the adviser, A

"The motion borders on frivolous, and appears to be an attempt to reopen the evidence in this already-closed case and to drag this Court into Plaintiffs' eleventh-hour campaign to improperly derail the Supreme Court's resolution of the government's appeal," the letter filed in federal court in New York reads.

The ACLU on Friday dropped what appeared to a bombshell court filing, alleging that Hofeller conducted a 2015 study that found asking about citizenship on the census would help Republicans and hurt Latinos and Democrats in redistricting. And the group claimed that officials did not disclose Hofeller's role in getting the question added to the census.

The DOJ, in this new court filing, said contrary to the ACLU's claims, the group has no evidence DOJ official John Gore "ever read, received, or was even aware of the existence of that unpublished study" or that he knew of it when writing an agency letter in favor of the citizenship question.

Trump administration denies deceit in census citizenship fight

Trump administration denies deceit in census citizenship fight Trump administration denies deceit in census citizenship fight

According to the Trump administration, the question about citizenship was removed from census forms in 2010, when Obama was president. The census is a decennial event, meaning it occurs every 10 years. There was a census in 1960, and one in 1970, for example, but there wasn’t one in

Ross oversees the Census Bureau and approved adding the question . Both Gore and the adviser "That study played no role in the Department ' s December 2017 request to reinstate a citizenship Audie cornish, host: There are new revelations today in the legal battle over the citizenship

And they pushed back against the claim that language authored by Hofeller made it into administration documents promoting the question.

"There is no smoking gun here; only smoke and mirrors," the filing states.

The DOJ lawyers also fired back at the claim that Gore and Mark Neuman, who advised the Commerce Department on the citizenship question, didn't disclose Hofeller's role surrounding the question. They said that the two men were never directly asked questions that would have caused them to discuss Hofeller's alleged involvement.

They wrote that the "lack of testimony from Gore" about receiving a draft letter from Neuman promoting the creation of the question, and Neuman also not sharing that information during his own testimony, "is thus traceable to Plaintiffs' inadequate deposition questioning."

The DOJ further argued that it was too late to add the evidence to the ongoing litigation surrounding the question, as the case has since been closed in district court in New York and is now under review by the Supreme Court.

Judge delays decision in census citizenship case after hearing evidence of GOP scheme

Judge delays decision in census citizenship case after hearing evidence of GOP scheme "There is no smoking gun here, only smoke and mirrors," lawyers for the Justice Department said.

A Census Bureau official privately discussed the citizenship question issue with Thomas Hofeller, who plaintiffs in census Demonstrators rally outside the Supreme Court in April as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration' s plan to add a citizenship question to 2020 census forms.

The justices gave a limited ruling on the Trump administration effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census . The reversal sends the future of the census — which is used to determine the distribution of congressional seats and federal dollars — back into uncertain territory.

And they said that the heart of the legal issue is whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who formally oversaw the question's addition, had "an objectively rational basis for his decision to reinstate the citizenship question."

"Nothing in the private files of a deceased political operative can affect the resolution of that issue," the filing states.

The court document also asserts that Hofeller's 2015 study didn't find that asking about citizenship would impact redistricting, but rather that basing districts on citizen voting age population would have the resulting effect.

"The Department of Justice takes accusations of false testimony very seriously. For the reasons set forth above and in the attached charts, Plaintiffs' accusations are meritless," Monday's filing reads. "Plaintiffs had an obligation to conduct a pre-filing investigation before leveling such inflammatory accusations, especially against a high-ranking DOJ official.

The Hill has reached out to the ACLU for comment. Both parties in the case are set to appear before a federal judge on Wednesday, as he determines whether to issue any sanctions against the Trump administration over the new allegations.

Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question

Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question The House Oversight chairman indicated that he would move forward with votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, after they missed a Thursday deadline.

strategist played a role in the Trump administration’ s push to get a citizenship question on forms for the 2020 census . Plaintiffs in one of the New York-based lawsuits over the question say that Hofeller later The Trump administration has maintained it wants census responses to the question

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will not ask about citizenship status on the 2020 census , backing off a contentious effort to reinstate the question over objections from opponents who successfully argued to the Supreme Court that it would disenfranchise minority groups.

The debate over adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census has engulfed both Congress and the courts.

Three federal judges have ruled against the question, but the Supreme Court's conservative majority appears poised to allow its inclusion on the decennial census.

And shortly before DOJ made its court filing, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) announced that his panel will vote to hold Ross and Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas issued in a probe surrounding the citizenship question.

Cummings gave the officials until Thursday to hand over certain documents pertaining to the census investigation, including those on Hofeller's alleged involvement, before moving forward with the contempt votes.

A spokesperson for the Commerce Department in a statement called the threat to hold Ross in contempt an attempt "to desperately and improperly influence the Supreme Court with mere insinuations and conspiracy theories."

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Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question.
The House Oversight chairman indicated that he would move forward with votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, after they missed a Thursday deadline.

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