Whatever your politics the people of Pennsylvania deserve a professional top law enforcement official in their attorney general and one who tells the truth. This morning, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro fell short.

In touting the agreement  with him in an editorial in the Pittsbugh Tribune yesterday Shaprio said this morning on Facebook:

Months ago, I sued the President to stop him from adding a question of ones citizenship on the 2020 Census. I argued it was legally impermissible (the US Constitution states that all ‘persons’ shall be counted—not ‘citizens’) and that it would result in an undercount as people are proven to be less likely to participate in the census if they’re asked about citizenship. In turn that could reduce PA’s representation in Congress and deny our fair share of federal funding.

While the issue of asking citizenship creating a burden leading to an undercount remains debatable, Shapiro fails to explain he lost that part of the lawsuit. Shaprio his fellow plaintiffs accused the Commerce Secretary of being discriminatory in his decision to include the question of citizenship in the 2020 Census. Their theory was the discrimination meant the question of citizenship cannot appear in the 2020 Census.

The court stated rejected the allegation saying in its opinion:

on the merits of the constitutional claim, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs did not carry their burden of proving that Secretary Ross was motivated by invidious discrimination and thus that he violated the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause. 

The long and short of the issue, if one really wants to find a long and short in a 277 page opinion is Shapiro and the plaintiffs won with the accusation the Department of Commerce violated the Administrative Procedure Act thus making it impossible to implement the decision. In other words if the Department decided to lock the door at 5pm but failed to follow the specific requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act to lock the door at 5pm the door must not be locked at 5pm. Locking the door, itself, is not impermissible.

The most likely outcome of remains unknown as the Trump Administration weighs allowing the decision to stand or choosing to appeal. Given the question of citizenship has appeared in the decennial began in 1820 and continued in some form for most of our history until the Obama Administration decided to exclude the question in any form in 2010.

What is patently wrong for the people of Pennsylvania is their Pennsylvania Attorney General stating as fact his political views while muddling the court’s decision in order to crow loudly of victory.

And the crowing may be premature. On the same day this lower court decision came out Mr. Shapiro and his fellow Blue State Democrat Attorney’s General lost at the United States Supreme Court who refused to even take up his “demand” for the removal of the president’s appointment of an Acting United States Attorney General.

Mr. Shapiro, so far, has failed to even admit his “demand’ failed to even convince the four Democrat appointees to the Supreme Court he was right.

 

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