NEW: Justice Dept says a new team of lawyers from the civil division will take over the 2020 census cases. Spox says AG appreciates the service, integrity & professionalism of the old team & expects “the new team will carry on in the same exemplary fashion as the cases progress.”
— Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie) July 8, 2019
The Washington Post, this morning:
There are two likely explanations for the Justice Department replacing its legal team in the census citizenship question case. Neither of them is good, and one could signal something much worse lying ahead.
The Justice Department announced the moves Sunday, as The Post’s Matt Zapotosky reported, and there is at least some indication that it was because the lawyers had qualms about the direction in which this was heading…
Another not-mutually-exclusive possibility is that the lawyers had seen their credibility shot by changing their minds about how to proceed. The old legal team told a judge last week that they were done, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross waved the white flag publicly too, before President Trump reversed the administration’s course in a tweet…
The explanation is simple. If you’re going to completely change legal theories and contradict what you’ve said before, it’s more credible (not very credible, MORE credible) to bring in new people to mouth the words.https://t.co/d2df9xcZ7z
— RammedTheRampartsHat (@Popehat) July 8, 2019
Or as Nancy Pelosi frames it, per Bloomberg:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump’s administration Monday of wanting to “make America white again” with its plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
“You know his hat? ‘Make America white again.’ They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted,” Pelosi said at a press conference on election security. “It’s really disgraceful and it’s not what our founders had in mind.”
Pelosi said the goal of the Trump administration is “self-evident” to have “a chilling effect” so certain populations will not respond to the census…
She added that Democrats were fighting for an accurate census count and are seeking enough funding for outreach to ensure everyone is counted.
Democrats are also seeking to enforce subpoenas for information on the census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted last month to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for withholding documents.
Isn’t the real story with the census case that the admin got caught lying about its rationale and four justices basically went along with it?
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 8, 2019
Not stall so much as re-boot. SCOTUS held the question was theoretically allowable if DoJ came up with a new/valid reason for it. If they present the court with such, the plaintiffs can challenge it. This will cause a delay. The real ? is can US delay the census itself?
— rogercee23 (@rogercee23) July 8, 2019