President Donald Trump is breaking with his own administration and fighting against the Supreme Court in his quest to get a citizenship question added to the 2020 census.
In a Wednesday tweet, the president declared “The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!”
He added that his administration is “absolutely moving forward” with their mission to put the citizenship question on the census.
The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
However, Trump’s remark is a direct contradiction with his own administration.
On Tuesday, a Department of Justice attorney wrote in an email “We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process.”
The DOJ was joined in the assertion that they’re pushing forward with the citizenship question by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said in a statement, “I respect the Supreme Court but strongly disagree with its ruling regarding my decision to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census.”
Ross went on to say, “the Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question. My focus, and that of the bureau and the entire department, is to conduct a complete and accurate census.”
The question of citizenship hasn’t been included on the census since 1950.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Trump administration could not include the question in the census. Chief Justice John Robert — who is typically viewed as one of the conservative justices — ruled with the left-leaning minority to seal the decision.
The Trump administration argues that the citizenship question is necessary to ensure the voting rights of minorities, but critics say the question is meant to suppress responses to the census.