UPDATED 9:43 AM PT — Thursday, June 6, 2019
During a short hearing Wednesday, Judge Jesse Furman didn’t give what opponents of the citizenship question want, which is to exclude it based on what they believe is new evidence. Furman, who was one of three judges to rule against the question recently, said he wants to wait for the high court to issue its ruling on the case. That decision is expected by the end of June, so Furman is in no hurry to rule on the new allegations. However, he did call them “serious.”
The alleged new evidence is reportedly from a late researcher, who revealed he thought a citizenship question would benefit Republicans and non-Hispanics. Activists are now accusing the president’s administration of wanting to suppress minority voters. It is a claim both the president and his administration vehemently deny, arguing it wants to protect them and the voting rights act by adding the question. The Justice Department has called the new claim a conspiracy theory.
Simultaneously on Capitol Hill, the Commerce Department is dealing with the House Oversight and Rules Committee. Democrat chairman Elijah Cummings recently announced three commerce officials volunteered to speak with the committee after he threatened them with subpoenas.
Cummings is also accusing Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross of trying to obstruct the committee’s investigation. He has threatened to hold them in contempt of Congress if they refuse to give the committee documents related to the citizenship question by Thursday.