To the Editor: Says census must ask citizenship question

The Federal Enumeration (Census) must ask the citizenship question to be in compliance with our Constitution. That was the sole intent of the authors of our Constitution.

Constitution Article 1, Section 2, clause 3 identifies Congress is required to ensure an enumeration (census) of citizens shall be conducted every ten years to ensure the citizens’ of each state receive equal representation in the House of Representatives (the People House) in our bicameral Legislative Branch.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.”

(When they identified “free persons” they were referring to citizens.)

The enumeration was only intended to count citizens to ensure equal representation in the House of Representatives. There is no historical evidence to even suggest the authors of our Constitution had any desire that non-citizens receive representation.

This position is further supported by the language in the 14th Amendment, Section 2 “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers ... the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” (Granted women are now counted represented citizens are now per the 19th Amendment and all citizens 18 years of age per the 26th Amendment.)

The President has an unquestionable duty to ensure the enumeration (census) is completed in compliance with the original intent of our Constitution. The president takes the strongest Constitutional oath of office, Article II, Section 1, Clause 8, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” All other federal office holders, including judges, fall under Article VI, Clause 3, and are “bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution”. Clearly the authors intended the president to have the greatest responsibility and duty to ensure the federal government operated in compliance with the Constitution, not the Judicial Branch. This is why they granted the Legislative Branch the authority to impeach and try Executive and Judicial officers, and president to remove them in a timely fashion for failure to comply with their Constitutional duties. They also created a greater protection for the president from political abuse by identifying the chief justice shall preside if the president is being tried.

The Judicial Branch has no Constitutional authority to direct the president on how to conduct the enumeration before the fact, that is up to the Legislative Branch, and it up to the president to ensure it is being completed in compliance with the Constitution. The Supreme Court has not only ordered the president to violate the Constitution, but directed him to guess how many citizens there are by statistical analysis rather than an actual count as directed by the Constitution.

The Constitution grants no authority for the enumeration to be taken to determine how federal resources should be distributed or who should receive them.

Ronald L. Porter

Story First Published: 2019-07-19