It is a basic fact of life that you must know what you are talking about before making public policy…

Without facts, it is impossible to govern on a rational basis or measure the effectiveness and efficiency of legislation. Assuming, of course, that the legislation is designed to do something other than serving as a funding mechanism for the special interests or as a virtue-signaling advertisement for the legislator and their party. Not that a lack of the facts ever stopped a politician from telling us what we need or how to live our lives.

Kicking the can down the road – past the deadline for implementation…

In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from including a citizenship question on the Census, thus rendering the issue moot for another ten years. With Chief Justice Roberts defying common sense and spouting nonsense. Claiming that the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, did not adequately justify his request to add the question or that his proffered reason was somehow pretextual.

-- Excerpts --

No. 18–966. Argued April 23, 2019—Decided June 27, 2019

The census additionally serves as a means of collecting demographic information used for a variety of purposes.

There have been 23 decennial censuses since 1790. All but one between 1820 and 2000 asked at least some of the population about their citizenship or place of birth.

[OCS: There is nothing abnormal about the request for citizenship information and it should have been considered under a precedential interpretation as being normal and customary.]

The question was asked of all households until 1950, and was asked of a fraction of the population on an alternative long-form questionnaire between 1960 and 2000.

In 2010, the citizenship question was moved from the census to the American Community Survey, which is sent each year to a small sample of households.

In March 2018, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced in a memo that he had decided to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire at the request of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which sought census block level citizenship data to use in enforcing the Voting Rights Act (VRA). '

The Secretary’s memo explained that the Census Bureau initially analyzed, and the Secretary considered, three possible courses of action before he chose a fourth option that combined two of the proposed options: reinstate a citizenship question on the decennial census, and use administrative records from other agencies, e.g., the Social Security Administration, to provide additional citizenship data.

The Secretary “carefully considered” the possibility that reinstating a citizenship question would depress the response rate, the long history of the citizenship question on the census, and several other factors before concluding that “the need for accurate citizenship data and the limited burden of the question” outweighed fears about a lower response rate.

[OCS: The real fear here is that the Democrats believed that illegal aliens would not participate in the census and that would lower counts that are used to form districts and send representatives to Washington. Thus, the Democrats would no longer benefit from a massive number of illegal aliens in the country – although they could not directly vote for a representative.]

We are presented, in other words, with an explanation for agency action that is incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency’s priorities and decision-making process. It is rare to review a record as extensive as the one before us when evaluating informal agency action—and it should be. But having done so for the sufficient reasons we have explained, we cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given.

Our review is deferential, but we are “not required to exhibit a naiveté from which ordinary citizens are free.” United States v. Stanchich, 550 F. 2d 1294, 1300 (CA2 1977) (Friendly, J.). The reasoned explanation requirement of administrative law, after all, is meant to ensure that agencies offer genuine justifications for important decisions, reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public. Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise. If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.

[OCS: This is pure bullpucky given then actions of the EPA and other agencies which refuse to reveal their scientific data sources or any material supporting their administrative decisions.  Secondarily, who appointed the Supreme Court, or any court for that matter, to decide that the “intent” behind an administrative decision was a deciding factor of its legality and constitutionality?]

In these unusual circumstances, the District Court was warranted in remanding to the agency, and we affirm that disposition. See Florida Power & Light Co. v. Lorion, 470 U. S. 729, 744 (1985). We do not hold that the agency decision here was substantively invalid. But agencies must pursue their goals reasonably. Reasoned decision-making under the Administrative Procedure Act calls for an explanation for agency action. What was provided here was more of a distraction.

[OCS: Someone should jam this very same reasoning up their collective asses when it comes to decision-making involving the spurious issues of our time like climate change.]

The judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

[OCS: By all means, let us delay making a decision until after the last moment to add the question and render the entire matter moot for another ten years.]

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.

JUSTICE THOMAS, with whom JUSTICE GORSUCH and JUSTICE KAVANAUGH join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

JUSTICE ALITO, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

JUSTICE BREYER, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG, JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, and JUSTICE KAGAN join, concurring in part and dissenting in part

[OCS: How to judicially cover-up cowardice on the Supreme Court – put forth a convoluted explanation which concurs in part and dissents in part.]

For those who want to read the entire opinion, it can be found here. <Source>

Since when did the legitimacy of administrative fact-finding depend on the intent of the person asking the question? Remembering, of course, that these are some of the same politicians that demand we spend hundreds of millions on environmental impact reports, counting the bugs, butterflies, snails, and whales before building a road or allowing the NAVY to use SONAR for coastal submarine detection and national defense.

Again, Chief Justice Roberts proves he is a politically progressive putz and not worthy of leading the Supreme Court. But, then again, that is simply proof that George W. Bush was an establishment progressive. (And who ever heard of a Yalie cowboy that used mountain bikes rather than horses on his ranch? And as far as I can tell, his crop was scrub brush that could be cut for photo ops.)

Using and abusing ignorance…

Ask yourself, why is it that the estimates of illegal aliens are always cited as being 12 million individuals or even more boldly as 20 million – when only 1 out of 5 illegal border crossers is caught? Or why we do not have a robust visa tracking system that tracks arrivals and departures and automatically spits out warrants for those who overstay their visas? Why is the military so secret about exchange trainees who simply disappear one day? It is suggested that the real count is north of 37 million individuals and growing each day. Of course, that number does not include children born in the United States and have been adjudicated to be citizens by some decision of the Social Security Administration that has been lost in the bureaucratic sands of time.

Bottom line…

Where is OUR environmental impact report showing how our resources and safety nets are being depleted by individuals who should have no legal right to be here? Why are we allowing people to stay for years while a deliberately inefficient and dysfunctional court system is manipulated by immigration lawyers extracting tremendous sums from what is being portrayed as indigent individuals?

They simply do not want to know the answer, lest the public demand action that could hurt their chances for reelection in areas of minority populations.

Even though he may act like a conservative – considering conservativism is often based on common sense and tradition – when it comes to court appointments, Trump’s nominations of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are still in doubt. Better than another Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but far less than a Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS