“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1798)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Chief Injustice: Roberts helps Democrats with census.
- The second Democrat debate was a personal food fight.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
With the amount of information the U.S. Census gathers every decade, it seems logical that one of the questions asked would be simply, “Are you a citizen of the United States?” Yet the very idea of asking this simple “yes” or “no” question outraged the Left — which is in a headlong rush to offer free stuff to anyone who arrives. And leftists found a judge and a Supreme Court willing to stop the Trump administration from adding this longstanding question back into the 2020 census.
While conventional wisdom held that SCOTUS would grant the administration’s request, the Left’s Hail Mary pass was the unearthing of an unreleased report penned by a now-deceased GOP consultant claiming the citizenship question could assist Republican candidates. Leftists struck pay dirt when a Barack Obama-appointed judge deemed that what’s become known as the Hofeller files — discovered and released by the estranged daughter of the late consultant Thomas Hofeller, who died last year — “raises a substantial issue” regarding the Trump administration’s claim that the question would assist in enforcing the Voting Rights Act. Opponents of the question contend that adding it would reduce responses from minorities despite the fact that citizens are required by law to do so.
As speculated here earlier this month, the ever-capricious Chief Justice John Roberts was the one who handed Democrats a victory with another of his weirdly contorted decisions. He aided the Left in at least temporarily blocking the question, which Roberts said was valid but that the Trump administration “did not provide adequate reasoning” for its inclusion.
As The Wall Street Journal explains, “The question in Department of Commerce v. New York was whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted within his purview in reinstating a citizenship question on the 2020 census. That’s not the question the Court ended up deciding. Instead, the Chief held that although Mr. Ross acted lawfully, his motives appear to have been less than pure.”
In other words, Roberts’s decision had to do with process and motives, not the Constitution.
The Court’s 5-4 decision thus puts the Trump administration in a box: Either conduct the 2020 census without a citizenship question — which will likely pad the population counts (and the congressional representation) of Democrat-controlled districts — or delay the census until the administration can make the correct case for its inclusion.
President Donald Trump has chosen to delay the census. “Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” Trump tweeted. “I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!”
While the Census has been conducted on April 1 since the 1930 counting, historically it’s been conducted as early as January 1 and as late as the first Monday in August, which was its original timeframe. Moving to August would give the courts four more months to figure out the legality. Moreover, states don’t receive the data for redistricting until several months afterward — in this case, early 2021. (The 2010 Tea Party wave election was such a disaster for Democrats at the state level because in several states they had to cede control of post-census redistricting to the Republicans.)
But what if the question were included anyway? Again, even Roberts conceded the question was a valid one, writing “neither respondents nor my colleagues have been able to identify any relevant, judicially manageable limits on the Secretary’s decision to put a core demographic question back on the census.”
Nor is politicizing the census anything new. Readers may recall the Supreme Court denied a Clinton administration bid to conduct the 2000 census with statistical sampling to correct a perceived undercount of minorities and noncitizens. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Left doesn’t like the idea of simply counting every citizen.
That’s because leftists aim to rig the electoral system. And, for now at least, John Roberts helped them do it.
If the Democrats’ first presidential debate was an exercise in pushing the envelope as far left as possible, the second debate involving the next slate of candidates was a political cage match of personal attacks.
The punches were primarily thrown at Biden, who leads the field. And the hardest ones were thrown by Harris, who Mark Alexander argues may join Biden on the ticket. After last night, they’d have to bury a lot of hatchets.
Harris the prosecutor showed up to tell the jury why Biden isn’t the right guy. She hit him for his record on race, saying, “I do not believe you are a racist … but it was actually very hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country. … You also worked with them to oppose busing.” She recounted how she benefited from busing as a little girl.
Biden, the vice president for America’s first black president, shot back, “It’s a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not praise racists.” In fact, he said, “I ran because of civil rights.” After bickering with Harris over his record, Biden eventually gave up, saying, “Anyway, my time’s up.” Wrong thing for a 76-year-old with a near-50-year career in Washington politics to say.
Biden 2020: “My time’s up.”
On that note, one of the other zingers of the night was from Swalwell, who said, “I was six years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said, ‘It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right 32 years ago, and he’s still right today.”
Sanders, 77, didn’t take too kindly to that, blasting the assertion as “ageism” in post-debate comments. But though the old socialist tried to set himself up for the debate with an op-ed selling socialist snake oil, he fell rather flat. His most memorable line might be that he opened the debate by admitting that taxes will necessarily go up for the middle class to pay for his income-redistribution schemes. “Yes, they will pay more in taxes,” he said, “but less in health care for what they get.” The question is this: What kind of health care will we get? It won’t be good.
Sidebar on immigration and health care: All 10 candidates raised their hands when asked if government health care should be provided for illegal aliens. Astounding.
As for “Mayor Pete,” he is the Democrats’ version of John Kasich. He made his mark by sanctimoniously telling Christians how to do politics. Buttigieg lectured, “For a party that associates itself with Christianity to say … that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.” It’s a tiresome act now, just as it was for Kasich in 2016.
One stand-out line: Harris, the media’s consensus “winner,” stopped a lot of crosstalk arguing by saying, “You know what, folks, Americans don’t want to witness a food fight. They want to hear how we’re going to put food on their table.” That is not the president’s job, and it’s exactly what’s wrong with today’s Democrat Party, brought to you by a woman who promises to do everything by executive order.
The next Democrat debates are July 30 and 31 in Detroit.
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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: A Second Dose of Sanders’s Socialist Snake Oil — Prior to his debate performance, Bernie made the case against Trump’s “corporate socialism.”
- SCOTUS Rules It Has No Role in Gerrymandering — “Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties.”
- A Law to Protect Campus Speech? — We wouldn’t have thought it necessary in America, but South Dakota may lead the way.
- Grassroots Perspective: ‘America Was Never Great’? — So say too many Democrats. But they’re very wrong about our history and our future.
- Video: Does Anyone Deserve to Have a Billion Dollars? — The New York Times asks 2020 Dems, and Matt Christiansen evaluates the answers.
- Video: Can You Name Any Dem Presidential Candidates? — Ferlon Webster goes to DC to ask people if they can name any 2020 Democrats.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
ON THE DOCKET: “The Supreme Court finally agreed Friday to referee a two-year-old dispute between President Trump and Democrats in Congress over the fate of nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The high court showdown, which could be decided in the midst of the 2020 presidential election, will determine whether Trump has the power to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA that President Barack Obama created in 2012.” (USA Today)
TROLL MASTER: “With a smirk and a finger point, President Donald Trump dryly told Russia’s Vladimir Putin ‘Don’t meddle in the election’ in their first meeting since the special counsel concluded that Moscow extensively interfered with the 2016 campaign.” (The Associated Press)
TWITTER SPEECH PATROL: “Twitter said Thursday it will start labeling tweets from influential government officials who break its rules against bullying and abusive behavior.” (CNBC)
BORDER FUNDING APPROVED: “After a brief showdown over competing emergency humanitarian aid measures to alleviate the crisis at the southern border, the House voted 305-102 on Thursday to pass the Senate’s less restrictive version of the bill. … The vote marked a serious setback for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had vowed not to accept the Republican-led Senate’s legislation.” (NPR)
BANK OF … WHAT? “Bank of America announced they will no longer do business with companies who are involved in the operation of migrant detention centers.” (Washington Examiner)
ELECTION MEDDLING: “Russia isn’t the only threat to election security going into 2020, as Trump administration officials say they are preparing for meddling from Iran, China, and North Korea.” (The Daily Signal)
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION: “Last-ditch talks to persuade Tehran not to exceed nuclear limits within days were on course for failure on Friday, as Iranian officials said their demands had not been met and Washington rebuffed European calls to ease sanctions to allow negotiations.” (Reuters)
CLIMATE RACKET: “The New York City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency, calling a sweeping transition to clean energy systems ‘vital to our future.’ … It’s the only U.S. city with more than 1 million people to declare a climate emergency.” (USA Today)
STRAIGHT-PRIDE GREEN LIGHT: “After initially being turned down by the city, Boston’s first ever ‘Straight Pride’ parade has been granted an official date: August 31,” The Daily Wire reports. Interestingly, “A new Harris Poll commissioned by the pro-LGBT media group GLAAD shows that the percentage of non-gay Americans aged 18-34, who are considered allies of the LGBT community, fell from 63% in 2016 to 45% in 2018,” according to CNSNews.com.
POLICY: Right on gerrymandering, wrong on the census (National Review)
POLICY: Don’t laugh at Democrats on health care. Private insurance is a catastrophe (Washington Examiner)
HUMOR: Major cave-in as Democrat candidates rush to far left side of debate stage (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
David Harsanyi: “Progressives want to create a system without risk, where students aren’t responsible for their debt and schools aren’t responsible for their costs. Once colleges know that prospective students can get any loan for any major they desire, incurring no risk whatsoever, what motivation do these institutions have to offer degrees of value? And, in the end, forgiveness does nothing to lower costs. Then again, when the state takes control of private institutions, it inevitably turns to price controls and all the usual tools that destroy industries. … The world doesn’t owe you a dream college or a dream house or a dream job. You have no right to someone else’s labor and time. If you want to attend free college, ask professors to offer you their lectures gratis or ask school administrators who run massive endowments to open their doors to everyone. Or, maybe, ask them to bring down their tuition prices.”
For the record: “The headline out of [last night’s] debate is going to be Kamala Harris starting off the second hour by turning to Joe Biden and just kicking the snot out of him on the previously long-forgotten issue of forced busing in Delaware. No older white male wants to get into a fight about racism with a younger African-American woman in a Democratic presidential primary.” —Jim Geraghty
Friendly fire: “President Donald Trump was the big winner of the first 2020 Democratic debate. The Republican commander in chief, who was on his way to an economic summit in Osaka, Japan, emerged from the scrap largely unscathed — barely mentioned at all — even though he is a uniquely antagonizing and energizing force for Democratic voters.” —NBC News’s Jonathan Allen
Socialism is nothing but faux promises: “I don’t make a whole lot of promises — but in the first week of my presidency, we will bring together the presidents of the Central American countries, the president of Mexico, to figure out how as a hemisphere we’re going to address [immigration].” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
Cat’s out of the bag: “People who have health care under ‘Medicare for all’ will have no premiums, no deductibles, no copayments, no out-of-pocket expenses. Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in health care.” —Bernie Sanders
Braying Jenny: “What is the greatest national security threat to the United States? It’s Donald Trump. And I’m gonna tell you why. Because I agree: Climate change represents an existential threat. [Trump] denies the science. You wanna talk about North Korea? Real threat in terms of nuclear arsenal, but what does he do? He embraces Kim Jong-un — a dictator — for the sake of a photo-op. Putin. You wanna talk about Russia? He takes the word of the Russian president over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to a threat to our democracy and our elections.” —Sen. Kamala Harris
Pandering: “This was the first time in my life I’ve watched Democrats fight to be more progressive than the other Dems. The old Dem Party hopefully is dead & this one must appeal to youth, ppl of color & women.” —Michael Moore
And last… “Biden has been in politics for 40 years but the Democrats just discovered like 12 seconds ago that he’s been a ‘racist’ this whole time. These people are such ridiculous frauds. They make me physically sick.” —Matt Walsh
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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