There’s a constitutional violation in the making, and it’s threatening the core of America. Last week, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump Administration’s citizenship census question until the administration could provide new evidence to back its claim as to its validity. Now, Trump says he’s considering issuing an executive order to force the citizenship question. Moreover, the Justice Department, run by Attorney General and noted Trump lackey William Barr, now says it will work on developing a legal rationale for adding the question. Trump and his people are at the point where they’re openly conspiring now because they think they can get away with anything.
The Supreme Court is the law of the land, like it or not, and the president must yield to their rulings just like everyone else has since the court’s founding. Now that Trump is looking to overturn the high court’s dismissal and the lower court’s ruling that the question cannot be asked on the census, he’s looking to override one of the three branches of government. In essence, he wants to eliminate checks and balances, and if he’s able to, then we no longer live in a democracy. We will have devolved into a nation ruled by fiat; we will have become a dictatorship.
This is an existential reckoning for the American experiment. We’ve thus far made it through Trump’s eye-watering presidency, albeit not without some bruises and scrapes. Will we make it through a flagrant violation of the Constitution? Given the reticence to begin an impeachment inquiry, given what Trump’s gotten away with so far, and given that around 40% of this country is sufficiently brainwashed or self-loathing enough to approve of Trump, I’m regretfully uncertain.
Trump’s desperation to get the question on the census is borne by his desire to deconstruct democracy. With undocumented immigrants unable to represent themselves in the census, voting districts will be redrawn using inaccurate data. These areas tend to be more liberal and, consequently, states like California, New York, and Arizona might be denied several electoral college votes that could very well be the difference between a Republican and Democrat president. My motto on this website is “democracy thrives in snarkiness,” something I adapted from the Washington Post’s “democracy dies in darkness,” but the truth is that democracy doesn’t thrive or die in either. It thrives in participation, and it dies in suffocation. I just hope that’s not where we’re headed.