Jones: Trump in ‘contempt’ of court on census citizenship question
Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is doubling down on his opposition to a citizenship question being asked on the 2020 U.S. Census.
Alabama’s junior senator previously came out swinging in favor of counting illegal aliens in the census. Now, he is going a step further, saying the executive branch’s power should be usurped in the matter.
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday asked Jones what Congress should do about the possibility that President Donald Trump will issue an executive order mandating a citizenship question be included on the upcoming census.
“Well, I don’t think it should be Congress,” Jones replied. “I think it should be the courts.”
“He (Trump) is, in effect, I think just flouting a court order that happened the other day,” Jones continued.
The Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling last month, at least temporarily, blocked the citizenship question on procedural grounds, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing that the evidence that had emerged regarding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision-making process on including the question “tells a story that does not match the explanation the secretary gave.”
However, to be clear, the court’s decision stated that the Trump administration has the authority to ask about citizenship on the census if it has valid reasons for doing so and could explain and support those reasons truthfully.
Jones somewhat acknowledged this caveat, although adding, “[T]hey didn’t say, ‘Just go ahead and do it by yourself [to the president].'”
“I don’t know if — obviously this is an issue that Congress will take up — but more importantly, I think it’s contempt of the court system,” Jones claimed. “It is a continuing pattern in this administration that, you know, ‘I’m just going to get what I want, the hell with everybody else, it doesn’t matter what Congress says, it doesn’t matter what the courts say.'”
“Where I think this needs to be addressed is in the court system, because they have addressed it first, there is an order out there and he (Trump) needs to abide by it,” he concluded.
Trump is expected to make an announcement regarding the citizenship question during a press event in the Rose Garden on Thursday. Congressional Democrats believe the president will issue the executive order and have already said they then will attempt passing legislation banning the citizenship question.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn