House lawyer says Trump’s census order breaks with history

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s directive to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted when the number of congressional seats in each state is determined is an unlawful order and following it would break with almost 250 years of history, an attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives told judges Tuesday.



Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, census worker Ken Leonard wears a mask as he mans a U.S. Census walk-up counting site set up for Hunt County in Greenville, Texas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


© Provided by Associated Press
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, census worker Ken Leonard wears a mask as he mans a U.S. Census walk-up counting site set up for Hunt County in Greenville, Texas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

But attorneys for the Trump administration told a panel of three federal judges in the District of Columbia that the president has the discretion to decide who is considered an inhabitant of the U.S. for the purposes of determining how many congressional seats each state gets, a process known as apportionment.

Tuesday’s court arguments were part of the latest hearing over the legality of Trump’s July memorandum. Arguments already have made heard in federal cases in Maryland and New York, where a three-judge panel blocked the presidential order earlier this month, ruling it was unlawful.

The New York judges’ order prohibits Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures used to calculate apportionment. The Trump administration has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the New York judges didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the memorandum, merely saying it violated federal laws on the census and apportionment, leaving open the door for the judges in the nation’s capital to rule on other aspects of the president’s memorandum. Other lawsuits challenging the memorandum have been filed in California, Maryland and Massachusetts.



A briefcase of a census taker is seen as she knocks on the door of a residence Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Winter Park, Fla. A half-million census takers head out en mass this week to knock on the doors of households that haven't yet responded to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


© Provided by Associated Press
A briefcase of a census taker is seen as she knocks on the door of a residence Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Winter Park, Fla. A half-million census takers head out en mass this week to knock on the doors of households that haven’t yet responded to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

One of the aspects the judges indicated they may consider is whether the Census Bureau will have to use statistical sampling to determine how many people are in the country illegally since there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census that could help answer that. The Supreme Court has ruled that statistical sampling can’t be used for the apportionment count.

To help figure find out that number, Trump issued another memorandum last year, directing the Census Bureau to use federal and state administrative records to find out the citizenship status of every U.S. resident. The Census Bureau hasn’t yet made public how it will use those records to come up with a method for answering that question.

Under questioning from the federal judges, federal government attorney Sopan Joshi said the Census Bureau had no intention of using statistical sampling.

The Washington lawsuit was brought by a

Read more

House Lawyer Says Trump’s Census Order Breaks With History | Political News

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s directive to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted when the number of congressional seats in each state is determined is an unlawful order and following it would break with almost 250 years of history, an attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives told judges Tuesday.

But attorneys for the Trump administration told a panel of three federal judges in the District of Columbia that the president has the discretion to decide who is considered an inhabitant of the U.S. for the purposes of determining how many congressional seats each state gets, a process known as apportionment.

Tuesday’s court arguments were part of the latest hearing over the legality of Trump’s July memorandum. Arguments already have made heard in federal cases in Maryland and New York, where a three-judge panel blocked the presidential order earlier this month, ruling it was unlawful.

The New York judges’ order prohibits Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures used to calculate apportionment. The Trump administration has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the New York judges didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the memorandum, merely saying it violated federal laws on the census and apportionment, leaving open the door for the judges in the nation’s capital to rule on other aspects of the president’s memorandum. Other lawsuits challenging the memorandum have been filed in California, Maryland and Massachusetts.

One of the aspects the judges indicated they may consider is whether the Census Bureau will have to use statistical sampling to determine how many people are in the country illegally since there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census that could help answer that. The Supreme Court has ruled that statistical sampling can’t be used for the apportionment count.

To help figure find out that number, Trump issued another memorandum last year, directing the Census Bureau to use federal and state administrative records to find out the citizenship status of every U.S. resident. The Census Bureau hasn’t yet made public how it will use those records to come up with a method for answering that question.

Under questioning from the federal judges, federal government attorney Sopan Joshi said the Census Bureau had no intention of using statistical sampling.

The Washington lawsuit was brought by a coalition of cities and public interest groups, who argued the president’s order was part of a strategy to enhance the political power of Republicans and non-Hispanic whites. The U.S. House of Representatives later offered its support on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The Trump administration on Tuesday asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying it was premature since it’s impossible to know who will be affected by the exclusion order before the head count is finished and whether the Census Bureau will come up with a method for figuring out who is a citizen.

But Gregory Diskant, an

Read more

White House lawyer in running for seat on the Supreme Court


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump didn’t have to look very far for one of the contenders on his short list to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court: he’s been considering one of his own lawyers.

Kate Comerford Todd is a deputy White House counsel, helping navigate Trump’s White House through a thicket of legal issues. It’s a role she knows well, having served in the counsel’s office during the administration of the last Republican president, George W. Bush.


Todd, 45, is the only lawyer mentioned as being on Trump’s shortlist who has not previously been a judge, though she’s hardly unfamiliar with the high court, having clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Her experience is otherwise diverse: she’s twice counseled the White House, worked at a prestigious law firm and represented the interests of a leading business advocacy group.



“She is absolutely brilliant,” said Helgi Walker, a partner at the Gibson Dunn law firm who also served as a Thomas law clerk and in the White House counsel’s office under Bush. “She is thoughtful, caring, considerate. She always tries to get it right, no matter what she’s doing.”


Trump has signaled that he intends to name a woman for the third Supreme Court selection of his administration. Amy Coney Barrett is emerging as the early favorite to be the nominee after he met with her Monday before leaving the White House to campaign in Ohio. Todd

Read more

White House eyes veteran antitrust lawyer for chief FTC post

Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, spoke with Arquit about the FTC role, both people said. They spoke anonymously to speak candidly about the private interview process. White House officials have also spoken to Gail Slater, a lawyer for Fox Corp. who previously worked at both the FTC and the White House as an adviser on tech, telecom and cyber policy.

The White House would not comment on the record, but a senior administration official told POLITICO in a statement: “There are no ongoing interviews for FTC chairman.”

Despite the Trump administration’s ongoing investigations into Silicon Valley companies, Arquit has previously cautioned against some of the rhetoric around breaking up tech giants, singling out the primary campaign calls from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last year.

“This is really an assault on our free enterprise system,” the longtime antitrust lawyer said in a Bloomberg TV interview last year. “To me, this proposal, it’s anti-worker, it’s anti-community and it’s also anti-consumer.”

These government probes create a significant “cloud” over the tech companies, he told CNBC in the summer of 2019, calling the scrutiny an “elephant in the room” chilling their behavior. Months later during another conversation, he described the FTC investigation into Amazon’s practices as “broad” and “proactive.” In these TV appearances, he has also defended the case behind T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, a game-changing transaction in the U.S. wireless market that officially closed this year.

Arquit served as the FTC’s general counsel and top competition staffer during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. In private practice, he has represented dozens of companies in mergers and civil antitrust matters including DirecTV in its merger with AT&T, Office Depot in its tie-up with Office Max and Pilgrim’s Pride in antitrust suits over alleged price-fixing of broiler chickens.

Arquit’s law firm colleague, Marc Kasowitz, served as Trump’s personal lawyer for more than 15 years and ran the president’s legal strategy for a brief time in 2017 as he was in the early stages of the Russia investigation. The legal strategy then was taken over by Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer at the time, and Washington attorney John Dowd.

Earlier this year, Arquit served as the arbitrator in the Justice Department’s first ever arbitration over the proposed merger of Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, and rival aluminum company Aleris. Arquit sided with the DOJ, and Novelis — the largest U.S. producer of aluminum used in cars — agreed to sell off a plant in Kentucky to finalize the deal.

Arquit didn’t respond to calls and e-mails for comment.

Source Article

Read more