Elie Mystal if the Editor of the Above The Law Blog.
“This afternoon, Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will take illegal action to force a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, in defiance of a Supreme Court order for additional litigation on the issue. For a president who has often hinted that he would ignore court orders he didn’t like, this will be his first action directly in violation of the legal limitations of his office.
It’s a constitutional crisis, because one branch of our government is defying another branch of our government. But it’s also something Trump has trained people to expect and accept. Trump and his administration have violated Constitutional norms since the moment they’ve taken office. The Republicans slavishly support him and the media, for the most part, parrots his message. You’ll see it today, as many reports will pretend there is some “confusion” about Trump’s power, as opposed to accurately reporting that he’s violating a court order just as surely as a person who jumps bail.
On the other side of the ball, establishment Democrats are sure to be as bumfuzzled as ever by this latest presidential wedgie to the rule of law. We’ll get press conferences and speeches. Promises to “fight,” even though Trump’s open defiance of the Supreme Court should tell us just how little paper laws mean to him. Eventually they’ll throw up their hands, blame women of color for being too mouthy about it all, and move onto Infrastructure Week.
The order to include a citizenship question on the Census is an illegal order. Those who follow it should be arrested. Those who promulgate it should be arrested. The document itself should have no legal relevance — it’s now no more actionable than a BuzzFeed poll. The real Census will be coming late this cycle, based on the executive branch’s refusal to issue a legal document. The man who ordered the taking of an illegal Census should be impeached for his attempt to usurp the rule of law, in violation of his oath of office.”
I wish leadership would do something and surprise me, but I am past all hope of that.
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