The census is part of the constitution remarkably. It actually mandates a census every 10 years. The purpose of this was not to create a database of the health and welfare of the country or to produce neat statistics that could be used. The purpose was clearly to determine the number of citizens because the constitution clearly says that house of representatives will be allocated based on the number of citizens in each state.
In other words the only required question on the census per the constitution is the citizenship question.
In 2009 President Obama had the citizenship question removed from the census. At the time I hadn’t heard about it or thought about why we have a census.
The constitution required several things that were very unique. One was the mandate for education for K-12 to be provided for free. A remarkable idea rooted in the idea that to make democracy work you needed educated citizens as well as free speech. I am still confused why they picked 12th grade vs 8th grade but I am happy they did this 250 years ago.
Since the census started the census has had the citizenship question. In 2010 was the first census that didn’t include this question. At the time the idea didn’t seem particularly odd. Who knows why or what questions are on the census? After thinking about it I now realize this is actually the only question that is required.
President Trump has required the question be put back on and this has become a big issue. Southern states like Texas close to the border with our southern neighbors have millions of non-citizens. If you think these people should remain here forever and it is okay to have millions and millions of illegal second class citizens then maybe you want them to count illegals. But it’s clear that that was not the intention of the founders.
This is just another example of how the Obama administration basically ignored the constitution when it was inconvenient. The Obama administration like all Presidents can run the government and spend money but only the money allocated by the legislature. Obama spent over 100 billion dollars that it didn’t have. They paid insurance companies all this money so they would reduce the deductibles on the Obamacare insurance program. The problem is that the congress never allocated this money. Obama simply violated the constitution and the government did it.
President Obama also produced an order making non-citizens legal. However, the executive function does not set immigration policy and every lawyer would agree including President Obama himself who said it was unconstitutional. However, when the legislature failed to do anything he simply made an executive order even though such an order like the insurance payouts are clearly unconstitutional.
Apparently democrats think what the constitution says is essentially irrelevant except when they can use it to justify their ideas. To the extent it doesn’t the constitution is something old men did 250 years ago that has nothing to do with what they can do.
Such thinking is pretty destructive. The democrats decry President Trump’s populism but in essence they are advocates of the most extreme populism which is that anything is legal if people think it is and that virtually anything the president wanted was legal. The constitution was written to prevent the abuses of dictators but also the abuses of the masses.
The constitution was written to create borders between different branches of government for a purpose. The checks and balances are critical to forcing legislatures and presidents have to play by the rules preventing dictators and laws would not circumvent specific rights enumerated in the constitution.
If you don’t follow the constitution on one thing then eventually our entire democracy is in jeopardy. This is why it is so important to care what the constitution actually says and prescribes and proscribes. The constitution is not a long document. It is not hard to understand or complicated. It is plain language and its meaning is clear. Everyone should read it again. It’s probably one of the most brilliant documents every created by humanity anywhere anytime. My respect for it only grows with time.